By CLINT FOSTER
FORT WORTH – The Mineral Wells Rams (15-9, 6-1) are officially playoff-bound after a breezy 14-6 win over the Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles (4-13, 0-7) in a three-hour affair, Friday night, on the north side of Fort Worth.
After jumping out to an 11-0 lead in the first two-and-a-half innings, the Rams' offense slowed down and let the Eagles hang around, causing the game to stretch seven innings.
But don't be discouraged by the amount of time it took Mineral Wells to dispatch District 6-3A's bottom-feeders. As with everything, there was a silver lining to the longer-than- expected Diamond Hill game, as it allowed the Rams to get some much-needed work from their bullpen and bench players.
"It took a little longer than I thought, but we jumped out to an 11-0 lead and my focus immediately goes to what we will need down the line," head coach Bret Barrick said after the win. "That was an excellent game for us to go seven, because guys got work that needed to work. We're going to need guys that are coming off the bench getting playing time and we're going to need guys that are going to pitch for us when we're in a three-game playoff series to get some innings.
"When you're trying to work four starters – five or six pitchers – it's really hard to get guys innings. So, I saw an opportunity. Pitchers that haven't been on the mound in a long time got up there and threw against live hitting and that's huge for us. That's going to turn into some positives down the line.
"We could have just left guys in there and maybe went home in five (innings), but the guys that got in there needed to play."