By TONY EIERDAM
LAKE WORTH – It was more than sweet revenge for the Mineral Wells Rams when they took care of Lake Worth, 8-2, here Tuesday night in a key District 6-3A game.
Not only did the victory avenge an earlier loss to the Bullfrogs, but it also gave the Rams sole possession of second place and keeps MWHS in the chase for a district title as they are only one game back of league-leading Kennedale.
The Rams were paced by two unlikely sources – a relief pitcher and a batter from the ninth spot in the order.
Pitcher Aaron Wheeler came on to relieve starter Brandon Martinez, allowing no runs and no hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 4-1/3 innings. Matt “Moose” Tincher accounted for the final four outs, including three strikeouts.
Although he did not allow a hit, Martinez walked four batters and allowed two runs in 1-1/3 innings.
“Aaron was big for us,” Rams skipper Bret Barrick said. “He is part of the team concept we have been preaching.
“Aaron got an opportunity and he stepped up for his teammates. We needed someone to throw strikes and get outs, and that is exactly what he did.”
Leading the Rams at the plate was nine-hole hitter Kristian Santibanez, who went four-for-four including two lead-off hits and a run batted in.
“Kristian was also huge,” Barrick said. “He was on base all night long and made things happen.
MWHS scored four runs in the top of the first inning for a quick 4-0 lead. Paden Patino singled in a pair of runs, and a fielder’s choice combined with an error added two more runs.
The Rams added a pair of runs in the second for a 6-0 lead.
Santibanez led off with a double and Martinez followed with a walk. Both were driven home by a single from Patino, who would finish with four RBI from the clean-up spot in the batting order.
In the bottom of the second, Martinez hit the lead-off batter and followed with a walk. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, but the next batter was walked to load the bases.
Martinez walked the next batter to force in a run as Lake Worth cut the lead to 6-1. It was then that Barrick lifted Martinez in favor of Wheeler.
A fielder’s choice off the bat of the next batter scored a run to cut the lead to 6-2. Wheeler retired the next batter to stop the bleeding.
The Rams closed the scoring with two runs in the fifth frame.
Wheeler led off with a single to center field and advanced to third two batters later on an error. Santibanez followed with a base hit to drive in Wheeler for a 7-2 lead, and MWHS extended the lead to 8-2 when Colby Kissinger singled home Chris Rapp, who had reached on the error.
Wheeler ran out of gas in the sixth with two outs, and Tincher came in and on one pitch forced a ground out to end the inning.
Tincher allowed a pair of hits in the seventh, but he struck out three batters to seal the win.
“We played an all-around team game,” Barrick said. “It is a team game, and the team stepped up.
“But we are going to take it one game at a time.
“Our goal is in the final game of district (April 19 at Kennedale) we want to have an opportunity for a share of the district championship.
“To do that we have to take care of each and every game before Kennedale. Right now, the most important game of the year is our next game against Diamond Hill.”
Rams notes: Due to the postponement of the second day of the District 6-3A track meet to Friday, Friday’s baseball game at home against Diamond Hill has been moved to noon on Saturday. The junior varsity game will be at 10 a.m.
Rams avenge earlier loss to Lake Worth; stay in hunt for 6-3A title
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
After over a month of speculation, the Ram faithful have a new leader in which to place their hope.
Friday night, the Mineral Wells ISD Board of Trustees announced their decision to hire Waco Midway's Co-Offensive Coordinator Gerald Perry as the new Athletic Director and head football coach of Mineral Wells High School.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (14-3) got everything they hoped for and more in the opening day of the Mineral Wells Tournament, Thursday, at Kessler Field. They swept the competition in a triple-header and dealt with a wide variety of situations, overcoming each.
Gordon, Strawn fill up all-district hoops teams
The All-District 17-1A-II teams for both boys and girls basketball have been announced and rivals Gordon and Strawn have left an indelible mark on the 2013-24 edition with the two schools combining for six players on the boys team and a whopping 11 girls receiving honors.
Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney
Hot off of a 5-1 showing at the Wichita Falls Tournament, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team (11-3) will open tournament play against quality competition again today from the comfort of their own home.
Four Ladycats garner top 11-1A-I awards
Palo Pinto County's most successful basketball team of the 2013-14 season can now add a bushel of accolades to an already memorable, Regional Championship year.
MW boys place third, girls seventh at Ram Relays
The Mineral Wells boys and girls track teams were on full display, Saturday, in front of a hometown crowd at the Ram Relays as the varsity girls team took seventh place with 42 point and the varsity boys finished third with 90 points.
State slips away
ABILENE – It wasn't the way a community pictured their season ending.
Fresh off of a thrilling 69-65, double-overtime victory over Ira in the regional semifinals, the Graford Jackrabbits' (27-4) bid for their first trip to the state tournament since 2012 fell short Saturday afternoon with a 58-25 loss at the hands of the Water Valley Wildcats (27-5) in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Finals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
Weathering the storm
The 2013-14 season epitomized growth for the Mineral Wells Rams basketball team. Under the tutelage of head coach Aaron Pappas, the Rams played to a 6-4 record in District 6-3A, clinching a third place finish and a fourth-straight playoff appearance.
Graford's Wimberly named 11-1A-II Offensive POY
A successful 2013-14 campaign for the Graford Lady Rabbits basketball team was capped off last week with the announcement that senior point guard Syndey Wimberly was named "Offensive Player of the Year" by district coaches. The district runner-up Lady Rabbits also placed five girls on the All-District 11-!A-II team.
Graford outlasts Ira, 69-65 (2OT), advances to Regional Finals
ABILENE -- "Survive and advance" is the name of the game come tournament time. And with their backs against the wall, the Graford Jackrabbits (27-3) did just that, holding off the Ira Bulldogs, 69-65, in double-overtime in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Semifinals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
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