By CLINT FOSTER
SPRINGTOWN – Three days before a colossal rematch for first place in District 6-3A with Kennedale, the Mineral Wells Rams (15-10, 6-2) got a resounding punch in the gut from their area rivals.
In their final trip to Springtown for a district contest, the Rams fell to the Porcupines, 6-1, and subsequently fell out of at least a share of first place in District 6-3A for the first time this season.
Cameron Bullock turned in a solid complete game on the mound and the Rams put the ball in play consistently – Mineral Wells only had one strikeout on offense. They just couldn't come up with a big play when they needed it most.
Head coach Bret Barrick compared the game to a pregame warmup, in that the Rams were just hitting grounders and fly balls to Springtown all night long.
"It was just one of those nights," he said. "Nothing really went our way. We couldn't catch a break and kind of relax at all. We were trying to play catchup all night long.
"Give Springtown some credit. They put the ball in play and did what they needed to do to beat us. It was a tough loss for us."
The tone for the game was set early with a missed opportunity in the second inning. Freshman Chris Ortiz had runners at second and third with two outs and delivered a tremendous two-RBI blooper over the shortstop that would have put the Rams up 2-0.
But the Rams' momentum was nipped in the bud when the umpire determined that Ortiz made contact with the ball outside of the box, calling him out and ending the inning with no runs for Mineral Wells.
Springtown came back in the bottom of the second with three runs and it was all downhill from there.