After seeing only one home run leave Stephenville’s ball park all of last season, Yellow Jacket coach Steve Carroll could do nothing but sit and watch as the wind blew four balls out of the park on Friday.
Unfortunately for SHS, three of the dingers were hit by Crowley, who built an 8-0 lead before holding off a late Jacket rally to win the District 8-4A showdown, 10-8.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Carroll said. “The wind just got a hold of the ball and kept carrying it.”
Long balls led Crowley, but it was the shortest of hits that kept setting the Eagles up.
Crowley finished with three bunt singles, two of them in the third. The bunts helped load the bases before a grand slam, and two batters later, another ball blew over the fence to make it a six run frame and an 8-0 CHS lead.
Stephenville pulled it together from that point, scoring a pair in the fifth, and getting back into the game with a Reese Robinson two-run shot over the wall in right in the sixth.
The deficit was too great, to overcome, however, as Crowley prefaced Stephenville’s sixth inning explosion with another two-run blast of its own to hold on.
“We showed a lot of courage not to just fold it up when it was 8-0,” Carroll said, “and that resiliency is something you look for as a coach.”
Stephenville continues to improve its hitting, finishing with 10 base knocks to go with seven walks.
“We did a real good job of staying alive at the plate,” said Carroll. “The walks really got us going, and several of them came when we were behind in the count and had to fould off several pitches to stay alive.”
Stephenville failed to come through on several scoring opportunities, leaving two runners on in the first, and scoring only one run before the inning ended with the bases loaded in the fifth.
The Jackets hit the road on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. battle at Everman. The Bulldogs are also coming off a loss, having been defeated by Joshua on Friday.