Maddux Conger and Ben Martin combined for Stephenville's third no hitter in five district games as Stephenville continued to pad its lead atop the District 7-3A standings Friday night.
Conger struck out seven batters and issued just one walk before turning the mound over to junior classmate Martin for the final inning of the abbreviated 10-0 victory at James T. Young Field. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Stephenville improved to 5-0 in league play in Conger's first start of the season. The first-team Perfect Game Baseball Underclass All-America selection pitched sparingly while fighting off a nagging injury early this season, and showed a dominating fast ball and an ability to paint the corners and leave batters off balance while flailing at his curve. Martin added another strikeout in the fifth, as the Jacket pitchers faced just two batters over the minimum.
"It felt great. I just stuck to my routine and trusted the guys to play good defense behind me, and it was awesome to get another win in front of this great home crowd," said Conger, an Airzona State pledge who fired 59 pitches and is expected to become a bigger part of the Stephenville rotation as the season goes on. "I got a little tired there near the end, but I guess that's to be expected. It's the first time I've pitched for any extended period in a long time."
The Yellow Jackets were just as effective at the plate, scoring twice each inning and racking up 12 hits in their second 10-0 win over the Tigers. Glen Rose committed nine errors in the first meeting between the teams and three this time, not that the Jacket hitters needed the help.
Martin was 4-for-4 with three singles and a double. He drove in three runs. Brock Morrison was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI's and Noah Hobbs was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Stephenville wasted no time jumping on the Tigers.
Martin rolled a single up the middle to start the Jacket assault. Alex Jimenez walked before Brock Morrison ripped an RBI single to center. Noah Hobbs had another RBI single two batters later to make it 2-0 after the first.
The second began with Sam Weber reaching on an error and advancing to second on a bunt. Colby Woodard launched an RBI double to the gap in right center, and Martin drove him home with an RBI single.
Noah Hobbs began the third with a bang, landing a leadoff double just inside the left field line. He reached third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch. Ian Horton walked, and courtesy runner Dominic Ward reached second and third on wild pitches before scoring when Martin smoked an infield single that was cut off deep in the hole by the Glen Rose short stop.
The fourth featured a pitching change for Glen Rose that did little to slow Stephenville. Morrison singled and scored on Conger's double to the centerfield fence, then Hobbs ripped a hard infield single to make put runners at the corners with no outs.
Glen Rose switched pitchers, and the Jackets turned some base-running trickery to score again. With two outs, Hobbs intentionally got in a rundown, keeping the play alive long enough for Conger to score uncontested from third before Hobbs was tagged out between first and second.
Woodard singled and scored on Martin's double to right in the fifth. Martin fittingly finished the night by scoring from second on a single by Jimenez. There was a close play at the plate, but Martin slid, reached for the plate and was called safe just as the tag was applied.
Stephenville has outscored its district opponents 35-3 and allowed only one earned run in five games.
"Maddux did a great job, and all our pitchers have been doing great," said Stephenville head coach James Boxley. "We're not bad at that position any night, and that means we always have a chance to win."
Conger agrees the pitching has been solid regardless who's taken the mound for the Jackets.
"Everybody's been pitching great, and having a lot of fun. Everyone's getting ready for what we hope is a long road ahead of us," Conger said. "To be 5-0 is awesome, but we're not done yet. I know it, everyone else knows it. We just have to keep playing our game every day."
They continued playing their game Saturday in non-district play, wiping out Joshua 12-0, also in five innings. Bulla allowed just three hits over four innings and Noah Hobbs was perfect from the mound in the fifth.
Hobbs also hit a home run, as did Conger. Ten Jackets combined for 11 total hits with Hobbs going 2-for-3 to lead the way.
Stephenville resumes 7-3A play at Alvarado Tuesday. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.