By TONY EIERDAM
Both the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team and the Rams baseball squad used brilliant pitching efforts to defeat Castleberry on Friday in the first games of the second half of the district slate.
District 6-3A play will continue for both teams today at Lake Worth. Both the softball and baseball games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Rams senior Matt “Moose” Tincher continued his domination of the Lions. The lefty, who threw a perfect game at Castleberry on March 15, came back on Friday to strike out 13 batters while allowing just four hits in a 3-1 victory that clinched a season sweep for MWHS.
“The big thing was Matt threw his curve ball for strikes,” Barrick said. “He kept them honest with that pitch.
“We are taking it one game at a time, and we will take wins any way we can get them.”
Equally effective for the Lady Rams was freshman hurler Kelsey Keeton, who dominated the Lady Lions once again.
Keeton allowed only one hit, did not issue a walk and struck out eight batters in an 11-1 win stopped by run rule in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“Kelsey threw well, and she also was helped by our hitting,” Lady Rams head coach David Tarver said. “It was nice to see the girls up and down the lineup hit aggressively.
“I think that will continue throughout the season.”
Today the focus is on Lake Worth, but the MWHS ball teams are looking at the their respective games with different perspectives.
The Rams are not only seeking revenge from a 10-4 loss at home on March 19, but they need the win to stay in the hunt for the top spot in the 6-3A baseball standings.
Rams head coach Bret Barrick said he will go with senior Brandon Martinez to start on the mound today. Martinez pitched three shutout innings against Lake Worth in the first round of district play before growing tired in the fourth, where he allowed a pair of runs and was lifted. He was replaced by Chris Rapp, who allowed eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Barrick said he will use Aaron Wheeler and Rapp if Martinez does not throw a complete game.
“We owe Lake Worth,” Barrick said. “I like the way Brandon threw the ball the last time he pitched, so I will go with him.
“I will have Aaron and Chris backing him up, but hopefully we won’t need them. But we are going to have to hit the ball better than we did against Castleberry to beat Lake Worth.
“Again, we owe them one, and we like playing at their beautiful park. We have always hit the ball well there.”
The Lady Rams had little trouble in a 15-0 win on March 19 over the Lady Frogs. Keeton threw a four-hitter in that contest. The MWHS ladies are still suffering nagging injuries, and Tarver hopes he can rest some players this week to get ready for the final two district games – at home on April 16 against Springtown and March 19 at Kennedale in the district finale that could decide the district championship.
The Lady Rams face Diamond Hill, a team they run ruled in the first round, at home on Friday.
“We have had some injuries, and with games (today) and Friday against Diamond Hill, maybe we can rest some of our players,” Tarver said. “I am hoping this will be a good recovery week.”
By TONY EIERDAM
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