Brayden Fryer pitching

Brayden Fryer scattered five hits and issued seven strike outs against Valley View.

Mineral Wells improved to 7-3-1 on the year after winning their first two games Thursday of the Ponder tournament before rainy weather stopped the action on Friday.

Rams 11 Valley View 2

Brayden Fryer pitched a complete seven-inning game allowing just five hits, two runs, and striking out seven Valley View batters as Mineral Wells opened tournament play with an 11-2 win.

Fryer helped his efforts on the mound with a three-RBI performance, including a two-run double. Isiah Santibanez, Cambren Morrison (3 RBI), Cameron Michels each had two hits, and Michel took a scene out the movie “The Natural,” hitting the scoreboard with a three-run homer.

“We lost our focus a little bit, and thought some things were funny,” Coach Brett said. “We need to be out looking to stay focused from innings 1-7.”

Matthew Pierce certainly took one for the team (actually it was twice) as he reached base a couple of times after being hit by a pitch. Pierce also laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt that moved runners into scoring position.

“We have a process and a plan, and we will be great if we follow it,” Ray said. “We have to remain focused; otherwise, the tide can turn on us in a tight ball game when we reach district play.”

Rams batting

2B: Braden Fryer, Cambren Morrison, Matthew Pierce, Isaiah Santibanez 

HR: Cameron Michels 

TB: Luke Bullock, Braden Fryer 2, Cameron Michels 5, Cambren Morrison 3, Matthew Pierce 2, Isaiah Santibanez 3 

RBI: Braden Fryer 3, Cameron Michels 3, Cambren Morrison 2, Matthew Pierce 

SAC: Matthew Pierce 

SF: Cameron Michels 

ROE: Luke Bullock, Braden Fryer, Tristan Gray 

HBP: Matthew Pierce 2 

SB: Cambren Morrison, Isaiah Santibanez

Rams 6 Trenton 2

Ray’s comments about needing to stay focused in tight games played out in the Rams’ next match against Trenton as they trailed early and rallied to hold the Tigers at bay for a 6-2 win.

Tristan Pena worked the plate for lots of strikes as he threw 57 of his 88 pitches in the strike-zone. Pena scattered six hits and stayed ahead of 16 of the 23 batters he faced with first-pitch strikes.

The Rams went right to work with their bats as Santibanez hit a single, and Fryer reached on a walk. Michels two-RBI line drive was mishandled and gave him to the chance to dig out a run for third base where he was called out, but play produced a 2-1 lead for Mineral Wells.

At the bottom of the second inning, Tristan Gray reached on a walk and got into scoring position with a steal. Three straight walks by the Rams moved helped extend the lead to 3-1.

Trenton’s one-run rally in the third inning was countered by two runs by the Rams in the fourth as Fryer and Rios scored on a high pop-fly from Morrison that was juggled and dropped allowing the shortstop to reach first.

“We played well defensively and with the kind of intensity that we need to have in place to win games like this one,” Ray said.

Luke Bullock tallied the Rams’ final run in the fifth inning as he was patient at the plate and earned a walk and then was advanced via Ryan Bell’s sacrifice bunt. 

TB: Luke Bullock, Isaiah Santibanez 

RBI: Matthew Pierce, Kevin Rios 

SAC: Ryan Bell 

ROE: Luke Bullock, Cameron Michels, Cambren Morrison 

SB: Ryan Bell, Luke Bullock 2, Tristan Gray, Gixxer Patterson

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