By TONY EIERDAM
Last year and again last week, Mineral Wells Rams head coach Bret Barrick has chosen to pitch No. 1 starter Matt Tincher in the second game of a three game series.
The plan worked all the way to the fourth round last year, and last week Barrick stuck with his plan as Tincher threw 14 strikeouts and a three-hitter to seal game two over Iowa Park which also swept the best-of-the-three series.
The series win advances the Rams to the area championship series, where they will face Alvarado.
Game one will be at 7:30 p.m. today at Alvarado.
Game two will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pratt Field on the campus of Mineral Wells High School, and game three, if necessary, will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.
However, Barrick, knowing that Alvarado has an outstanding No. 1 pitcher as well, Dylan Lemons, doesn’t want to show his hand in this series.
“Game time decision,” Barrick said. “I will not comment on who will go first for us on the mound as that will be a game time decision depending on what the matchup we want will be.”
While Tincher has struck out 14 batters in seven innings in the playoffs, Lemons also has a nice strikeout/innings pitch ratio as well.
The junior righty is 7-1 and has struck out 116 batters in 60 innings this season and posted a 0.93 earned run average.
While most baseball fans would love to see a Tincher/Lemons matchup, they will not know until Friday’s game.
“(Lemons) is a big righty that is pretty good and the rest of their pitchers will compete and throw strikes, which is the same as us,” Barrick said. “From what I have heard they are almost identical to us as a team.
“I know Coach Hall will be aggressive on the bases with bunts, hit and runs, and steals. He does an outstanding job teaching his kids how to read pitchers and get jumps.
“They are very fundamentally sound and shouldn’t make many mistakes. “
Barrick was pleased to se his offense come alive in the Iowa Park series with 13 runs in the series, including eight runs and 10 hits in the deciding game-two victory.
“Right now, our pitching and defense are pretty good and have carried us thus far,” Barrick said. “But we have had moments when we hit pretty well and we will have to continue to get runners on and then work hard to find ways to get them around the bases.
“I think this will be a great matchup and pretty even. We will have to play well and take advantage of our opportunities.”
Rams/Alvarado area championship baseball series features two top starting pitchers
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
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.
Ragland, Pappas, Holman receive top All 6-3A awards
A successful season full of growth for the Mineral Wells girls' basketball team was capped off in style this week when the district coaches announced that the Lady Rams placed seven players on the All-District 6-3A team and garnered three individual awards – two of which went to two of the Lady Rams youngest rising stars.
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