Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 23, 2014

Taking care of business

Bullock halts Diamond Hill's upset bid, leads Rams to 13-3 blowout


Mineral Wells Index

By CLINT FOSTER

cfoster@mineralwellsindex.com

 

Nothing worth having comes easily. 

 

That was head coach Bret Barrick's message to his Mineral Wells Rams baseball team (11-8, 2-0) after a hard-earned, 13-3, six-inning victory over the Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles at Pratt Field, Friday night.

 

"Nothing's going to be easy," he told his players under the Friday night lights. "Anything worth having is worth fighting for and working for. Be happy with the 'W,' but don't go into anything thinking it's going to be easy. Our district, top to bottom, is pretty even. We're going to have to show up and play every day."

 

In a game that was a bit too close for comfort through the first five innings, the Rams ultimately showed up in a big way to take care of the Eagles and remain unbeaten in District 6-3A play.

 

Things seemed fine at first, as the Rams built a 3-0 lead and sophomore pitcher McCain Mason tossed four scoreless frames to start the game. But in the top of the fifth frame, the Rams quickly found themselves in hot water.

 

After striking out the first batter, Mason walked a man, hit three consecutive batters and walked another to load the bases and score two runs for the Eagles. Sophomore Braxton Allen took the mound to close out his second straight game, but by the end of the inning, Diamond Hill had tied the score at three and put the Rams on upset alert.

 

In desperate need of a spark, the Rams turned to Cameron Bullock, who shifted from right field into the unfamiliar territory of catcher after Allen took the mound. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Bullock delivered an inside-the-park home run to dramatically lift his team's spirits and put the Rams up, 4-3.

 

"Cameron did a good job," Barrick said. "He's played really well in right field and he hasn't had a chance yet to pitch in district, even though he's one of our top pitchers.

 

"He stepped back behind the plate and did a good job there. (On the inside the park homer) when I saw the guy miss the cutoff, I knew I was going to give him a chance at it and see what happened. It came at a big time in the game. It got their pitcher out and things kind of fell apart for them."

 

Bullock gave Mineral Wells a lead they would never relinquish, as the Rams proceeded to go on a nine-run tear in the ensuing inning to run-rule the Eagles and put another district win behind them.

 

Ultimately, Barrick said credit goes to the entire team for pulling together in the face of a true test to their will.

 

"It took us a little while to figure it out, but our kids came together and they played well tonight," he said. "They really competed for each other. I was real proud of the kids and the way we finished the game. Just a good, all around effort from everybody. It was a big win for us."

 

Awaiting the Rams next week is a Tuesday date with district rival Springtown at home. Barrick said his team's performance in that game could, to an extent, dictate the tone for the rest of their season.

 

"We need to come back and have a great practice on Monday and then defend our home turf against Springtown," he said. "If we defend our home turf in the first round of district, we're going to be sitting pretty in the second round. I like our chances against Springtown and if we can take care of business Tuesday, it sets up a heck of a showdown on Friday (against Kennedale)." 

 

First pitch of the Springtown game is set for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, at Pratt Field.