By TONY EIERDAM
It was a classic pitching duel, an almost errorless ball game and a contest between two teams – the Mineral Wells Rams and the Kennedale Wildcats – which Thursday night at Pratt Field decided which squad would take the lead in the District 6-3A race at the halfway point of league play.
Two all-state pitchers went after each other, and in the end Kennedale’s Justin Jakubisin slightly out dueled Matt “Moose” Tincher as the Wildcats slipped past the Rams, 3-1, to take a one-game lead over the Rams in the race for a district championship.
The two teams will meet again on April 19 at Kennedale in the district finale.
Rams head coach Bret Barrick was not discouraged – and seemed very encouraged – following the well-played ball game.
“We are starting to play better baseball,” Barrick said. “We have improved in each of our last three games. We are hitting the ball better, and our pitching has been really good.
“We are starting to peak, and that’s what we want to do at this point of the season. We want to hit our stride in the second half of district and run through it, and when we get down to the final game of district I think it will be between us and Kennedale playing for the district championship.”
Jakubisin allowed a run on two hits and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed.
Tincher allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings.
“The kids played their guts out (Thursday), and Matt did a great job on the mound,” Barrick said. “He was throwing everything well, and he kept them off balance. He was throwing his curve ball for strikes, and he was spotting his fast ball.
“He would rear back every now and then and put a little extra on his fast ball just to let them know he had it so they would have to be ready for that. he did a good job, and coach (Will) Burnes did a good job of calling the game, as did (freshman catcher) Braxton (Allen) when he called some of the pitches.
“It was a clean baseball game, and when you have two good teams playing each other that is how it is supposed to be. (Kennedale pitcher Justin Jakubisin) also did a good job of keeping us off balance.
“We put the ball in play, we just hit it right to them. Sometimes you have games like that.”
Kennedale scored in the top of the first inning, but the Rams matched the score to tie the contest at 1-1.
Mineral Wells center fielder Brandon Martinez led off and was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch.
Colby Kissinger followed with a sacrifice bunt to get Martinez in scoring position.
Two batters later, second baseman Paden Patino singled to left to drive in Martinez to tie the score.
Kennedale took the lead for good with two runs in the top of the sixth.
The Rams had appeared to throw out the Wildcats’ leadoff batter in the frame on a ground out, but the field umpire ruled the batter had beaten the throw. The next batter reached on an infield single to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Kennedale singled to score a run and scored another on a fielder’s choice ground out as the ‘Cats led by two runs after 5 1/2 innings.
The Rams got a runner on in each of the fifth and sixth innings, each time courtesy of a walk, but could not get either runner past second base.
Jakubisin retired the side in order in the seventh to seal the win and put his team in first place.
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
As I've written the last two weeks, Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine is on shelves and, more importantly, in my office. Can you tell I'm excited for football season?
Burke, Carter, Fisher among young standouts at early MW summer track meets
Two meets are in the books for the Mineral Wells Summer Track Club and already many young athletes have risen to the top alongside their varsity counterparts as the apparent track stars of the future.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season