Stephenville hit four home runs and tallied six triples while going 3-2 and finishing fourth in the Waco ISD high school baseball tournament last weekend.
The Yellow Jackets dominated China Springs, Killeen and Waco University, but fell to Rockwall and Red Oak on their way to improving to 4-2 overall on the young season.
“Everybody played and everybody contributed,” Stephenville head coach Steve Carroll said of his team’s performance. “We’re hitting the ball much better than last year and I thought we played pretty solid defense throughout the tournament. This was a good weekend for us. We saw a lot of things we needed to see, and had a few pleasant surprises along the way.”
The four homeruns matches - two of which were inside the park - matches Stephenville’s total for all of last season. The six triples is just three shy of the Jackets’ 2008 total of nine.
Stephenville began tournament action with a 9-0 loss to 5A Rockwall.
“Blake Pair pitched four pretty good innings in that one, and we really hung tough for the first four innings,” Carroll said. “They just had a really good pitcher and we couldn’t get anything going against him.”
It was just the opposite at the plate the next three games, as Stephenville rung up 36 runs while coasting to three straight wins.
The Jackets picked up an inside-the-park homerun and a triple from Garrett Autrey, and Dominick Jokel added a second three-bagger in a 10-4 win over China Springs. Nick Young was also big, tallying two hits and picking up the win in three innings of work on the mound.
Autrey pitched three innings and recorded a win while also going 4-5 at the plate in an 11-3 dismantling of previously unbeaten Killeen. Jokel and Brad Picha each had triples in the win, and Jokel drove in two runs. Blake Pair had 3 RBI and hit a double, while Reese Robinson also had a double and 2 RBI.
Stephenville’s biggest inning at the plate came in the Jackets’ second at-bat in a 15-4 thrashing of Waco University.
Chris Malone, who won the game on the hill, drilled one to the gap in right-center and sprinted around bases for an inside-the-park homerun. Three batters later, Autrey blasted a shot over 370-feet for Stephenville’s first homer to leave a ballpark this season, and Picha followed with another bomb down the line for a third homerun in five batters.
Pair added a triple in the Jackets’ final win.
Carroll says Stephenville simply ran out of pitchers before Saturday’s third-place game against Red Oak, which the Jackets lost, 16-2.
“We really were out of pitching going into the final game, and Red Oak can really hit the ball,”?Carroll said. “We’re still trying to get (Picha) and some other guys healthy so we’ll have more pitching.”
Autrey had an RBI triple in the loss, while Reese Robinson posted two base knocks.
“I think we learned a lot this weekend, and I think we played pretty good baseball for the most part,” said Carroll. “We have to continue to work on our hitting, and we need to be able to hit a No. 1 pitcher the way we hit some of the No. 2s and No. 3s we faced. But defensively, I think we’re playing really solid for this time of the year. We only committed two errors all weekend. If we continue to get better in those areas and get some pitchers back, we’re going to be in good shape.”