Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blinn eliminates Bulldogs, 15-13

Blinn eliminates Bulldogs, 15-13

MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas—As for as Texarkana College is concerned, the South has already risen again.

The Bulldogs’ two-and-out exit from the 2008 Region XIV baseball tournament was courtesy of South Zone teams, including No. 4 seed Blinn College, which outlasted TC, 15-13, in a near-four-hour elimination game Sunday at Northeast Texas Community College’s Bob Baker Field.

Thus the first season of the Will Bolt regime at TC ended at 33-23. Blinn (25-26) plays at 10 this morning against the loser of Sunday’s late game between Alvin College and Navarro.

And it was late, thanks to Sunday’s 11-inning opener that went to Wharton College over Panola, 8-7, and the TC-Blinn marathon that produced a combined 28 runs, 31 hits, 20 walks and 27 runners left on base.

The game was as crazy as those numbers indicate. Blinn had leads of 6-0 and 11-4 before the Bulldogs took advantage of six walks, a hit-batsman and two hits and three runs batted in by David Allday to score eight runs in the seventh inning to take a 12-11 lead.

But they couldn’t hold it.

The Buccaneers scored once in the eighth to tie it, then three more in the ninth off losing pitcher Thomas Watson, two coming on Matthew Steele’s triple that careened off Anton Garcia’s glove in center field.

Winning pitcher James Brandhorst blanked the Bulldogs in the eighth, but surrendered doubles to Gip Hendrix and Watson and a walk in the ninth before ending the game with a strikeout and the potential tying runs on base.

“We expended a lot of energy getting back into the game,” Bolt said. “We did the best we could to slow the game down a little bit for the guys, but they just got so hyped up in situations where all it took was one more hit to break their backs. We were never-say-die, and that’s kind of what this team’s been about all year long.”

TC starter Justin Fowler was hit hard in 5 2/3 innings, including home runs by Layton Hiller and Trey Johnson. Cory Hill surrendered a 3-run homer to the first batter he faced, Zakary Leonhardt, as Blinn extended its lead to 10-3.

“Justin didn’t have his best stuff, but the thing about it, he got us into the sixth inning,” Bolt said. “Not a lot of guys can say that after giving up a four-spot in the first two. He mostly pitched behind in the count, but I thought he competed really hard, and he gave us a chance by staying out there until the sixth.”

Texarkana had to make several positions changes during the course of the game, as well as a big one before it. Second baseman Justin Coats was a late scratch with a shoulder injury suffered in Saturday’s first-round loss to Alvin.

“I had him in the lineup, but he couldn’t throw, and I saw him take batting practice, and he wasn’t the same guy,” Bolt said. “It was a physical, and I think a little bit of a mental blow. It hurt, but that’s not what lost us the game.”

Hiller had a lot to do with that, driving in five runs with four hits, including his 15th home run and a triple. Johnson was 3 for 3 with two RBIs, and Steele drove in three with a triple and a single. Travis Cougot had a pair of doubles as the Bucs totaled 16 hits.

Watson and Allday swung the big bats for TC. Watson was 4 for 5, including a 3-run homer that put Texarkana on the board after Blinn had built a 6-0 lead. Watson also had a double and drove home four runs.

Allday had four singles in six at-bats, driving three runs, all in the big seventh inning. Lance Marvel tripled and singled in three official at-bats, and Hendrix had a pair of doubles.

Thirteen of TC’s 15 total hits were by freshmen.

“We’re not the most perfect team, not the best team that’s ever been through Texarkana,” Bolt said. “But I’m pretty proud of my group the way that they really competed.”

Blinn College 310 024 113 — 15 16 0

Texarkana 000 031 801 — 13 15 4

Trenton Irwin, Will Burke (7), Brian Smith (7), James Brandhorst (8) and Mario Eremo. Justin Fowler, Cory Hill (6), Gip Hendrix (7), Thomas Watson (8) and Dean Malthouse. WP-Brandhorst. LP-Watson. HR: BC-Layton Hiller, 1st, 2 on; Trey Johnson, 5th, none on; Zakary Leonhardt, 6th, 2 on. TC-Watson, 5th, 2 on.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Alvin hands 5-3 setback to Bulldogs

Alvin hands 5-3 setback to Bulldogs

MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas—Texarkana College kept offensive power Alvin College on the ropes most of the game, but the Bulldogs just couldn’t deliver the knockout punch.

The Dolphins, who entered the game with a hefty .363 team batting average, rallied late to post a come-from-behind 5-3 win over TC in opening-round action Saturday in the Region XIV baseball tournament.

The setback drops the Bulldogs (33-22) into the losers’ bracket, where they will play at 1 p.m. today against the loser of Saturday night’s late game matching nationally-ranked Navarro (45-8) and Blinn (24-25). The double-elimination tournament is being played at Bob Baker Field on the Northeast Texas Community College campus.

TC, the third seed from the North, was shutting down Alvin, the No. 2 seed from the South, 2-0, through 5 1/2 innings.

Designated hitter David Phillips figured in both of the Bulldogs’ runs. He smacked a two-out, opposite-field homer above the 15-foot wall in left field. It was his team-leading 19th round tripper of the season, tying TC’s all-time record set by slugger Reed Stewart in the 1980s. It also was his 64th RBI of the season.

Phillips led off the top of the sixth with another opposite-field blast that ricocheted off the bottom of the wall near the 309-foot sign. He ended up with a double. One out later, Dean Malthouse scored him with a sharp single up the middle for a 2-0 Bulldog lead.

“Our guys competed hard and played hard throughout the game,” said TC coach Will Bolt. “We got some key hits and we kept the pressure on them, but we let them stay close and we didn’t put them away.”

Bulldog pitcher Jason Chowning appeared in command, allowing only four singles through five innings. The Dolphins narrowed the score to 2-1 in the sixth with a leadoff walk, stolen base and two-out single by cleanup batter Chris Herrmann.

The Bulldogs stayed with the hard-throwing Chowning, a 6-foot-3 sophomore who has signed with the University of Oklahoma. It was his game to win or lose.

“Jason had 80 pitches entering the seventh inning, and we were going to keep the ball in his hands,” Bolt said. “He was pitching well and he deserved the chance to keep going and try to close out the game.”

Chowning’s trouble in the seventh mirrored the sixth when he walked the leadoff batter. Following a sacrifice bunt, a throwing error off a slow grounder bounced into the Alvin dugout, allowing the Dolphins to tie the game at 2-2.

Alvin followed with three straight hits, including its only one for extra bases (a double), to grab a 4-2 advantage. TC’s lead had suddenly vanished and momentum clearly had swung to the Dolphins’ side.

“They just got to him (Chowning) in the seventh,” Bolt said. “They’re a very good-hitting ballclub and they had seen him a couple of times, and they came up with key hits.”

Bulldog reliever Zach Fowler also was touched for a couple of hits in the big inning, one scoring a run that was charged to Chowning (5-4). Alvin sent 10 batters to the plate and scored four runs off six hits and an error.

TC tried to rally in the seventh when leadoff batter Trey Buck singled, stole second and went to third when the catcher’s throw bounced off the second-base bag.

And that brought up Phillips, who had homered, doubled and was robbed of another extra-base hit when the Alvin right fielder made a diving catch in the fourth inning.

The Dolphins replace starting pitcher Taylor Wulf, an eight-game winner, with Brett Kinsel. The reliever struck out Phillips on three pitches.

Phillips, however, came through again in the ninth. Three walks to Lance Marvel, Buck and Justin Coats loaded the bases with one out. Phillips then grounded out to second, scoring Marvel to close the gap to 5-3. Cleanup hitter Gip Hendrix, who was hitless in five trips to the plate, grounded back to the pitcher, ending the game.

“We certainly had our chances, but we just didn’t come up with enough timely hits when we needed them,” Bolt said.

David Allday, Buck and Phillips had two hits each for TC, which must fight its way back in the losers’ bracket.

“Now we need a four-game winning streak, but we’re going to take it one game at a time and play hard and see what happens,” Bolt said.

Angelina beat Wharton, 6-1, in Saturday’s opening game.

Texarkana College 100 001 001 — 3 9 2

Alvin College 000 001 40x — 5 11 1

Jason Chowning, Zach Fowler (7) and Dean Malthouse. Taylor Wulf, Brett Kinsel (7) and Adelaido Anaya. WP-Kinsel (3-2). LP-Chowning (5-4). HR-TC: David Phillips (19), 1st, none on.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bulldogs begin regional tournament

Bulldogs begin regional tournament

j. chowning
MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas—Texarkana College slipped in at the wire as the No. 3 seed from the East Zone for the Region XIV baseball tournament that starts today, but it didn’t help much in determining the Bulldogs’ first-around opponent.

TC (33-21) and Alvin, No. 2 seed from the South, are scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. today at Bob Baker Field on the campus of Northeast Texas Community College. Alvin (33-14) was the season-long leader in the South Zone before being overtaken by San Jacinto in the final week.

“There’s not a lot of difference between Alvin and San Jac,” said TC coach Will Bolt. “Alvin is very offensive; the first five guys in their order are as good as any in the conference. And they like to run. They want to put pressure on you from the first pitch.”

Bolt likes his team’s attitude heading into the tournament.

“I feel like we’re playing our best baseball right now,” he said. “We played pretty well over the last three weeks with our backs to the wall. We’ve been a lot more consistent lately in all facets of the game.”

Bolt is counting on his top two starting pitchers—right-handers Jason Chowning and Justin Fowler—to go deep in the first two games.

“We need them to eat up some innings to set up the rest of our pitching,” he said. “It they can keep their pitch count down and give us seven innings, then we should be in good shape for the rest of the tournament.”

Dean Malthouse will catch Chowning today. Around the infield will be David Allday at first base, Justin Coats at second, Trey Buck at shortstop and Thomas Watson at third. From left to right in the outfield will be Gip Hendrix, Josh Gill and Lance Marvel. David Phillips is the designated hitter.

Other games today will match East No. 2 seed Angelina College (33-14) and Wharton (25-25, South No. 3) at 10 a.m., South No. 1 San Jacinto (42-12) and East No. 4 Panola College (33-21) at 5 p.m. and East No. 1 Navarro College (45-8) and South No. 4 Blinn College (24-25) at 8.

Should TC win, the Bulldogs will play at 8 p.m. Sunday against the Blinn-Navarro winner. A loss would put them against the loser of that game at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The tournament runs through Tuesday or Wednesday with the winner qualifying for the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.

The game will be broadcast on the Internet and can be accessed at www.tsrnsports.com/Broadcast/2005/schedule-college.htm.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

College Baseball: Six Bulldogs earn places on all-conference team

Six Texarkana College Bulldogs have been named to the Region XIV East Zone all-conference team.

Gip Hendrix was named Freshman of the Year, while sophomores Justin Coats of Texarkana, David Phillips and Dean Malthouse, and freshmen Trey Buck and Thomas Watson were selected all-conference.

Malthouse finished second in the East Zone batting race with a .411 average that included 12 doubles and 10 runs batted in.

Coats hit .359 with five doubles, four triples, four home runs and 22 RBIs.

Phillips batted .343 with 12 doubles, and led the team with 10 home runs and 36 runs batted in.

Buck was third overall in the conference with a .404 average. He hit 14 doubles, scored 24 run an drove home 16, while drawing 18 walks from his leadoff position and striking out only four times.

Watson, a redshirt freshman from Paris, batted .346 with six doubles, four home runs and 19 RBIs.

The Bulldogs take on Alvin Community College at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the Region XIV tournament at Northeast Texas Community College’s Bob Baker Stadium.

t. watson
g. hendrix

t. watson
d. malthouse

t. watson
t. buck

t. watson
d. phillips

t. watson
j. coats

t. watson
t. watson

Monday, May 5, 2008

Texarkana College splits games

Texarkana College splits games

PARIS, Texas—The majority of Texarkana College’s hits came in the nine-inning nightcap as the Bulldogs split a doubleheader with Eastern Oklahoma at Hub Hollis Field.

TC (33-21) dropped a 2-1 decision in the opener after managing just one hit, but the Bulldogs banged out 20 hits to back six pitchers in an 18-6 Game 2 rout.

Justin Coats accounted for all of Texarkana’s offense in Game 1 on a solo home run in the fourth inning. Gip Hendrix took the loss.

Josh Gill had a pair of solo homers in the second game, Hendrix added a solo shot and David Phillips had a two-run homer, double and four RBIs for the Bulldogs.

Gill finished 4 for 5, Trey Buck was 4 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs, Coats was 2 for 4 with a double and four RBIs, Dean Malthouse was 4 for 6 with three doubles, and Zach Fowler had two hits and two RBIs.

Logan Schamberg belted a grand slam for Eastern Oklahoma, and Cody Wilson picked up the win for TC, which scored in each of the first six frames.

Texarkana 001 000 0 — 1 1 2

Eastern Oklahoma 001 001 x — 2 4 2

Jason Chowning, Zach Fowler (3), Gip Hendrix (6) and Dean Malthouse. Nate Pettus, Jeff Sbarbino (6) and Brady White. WP-Sbarbino. LP-Hendrix. HR: TC-Justin Coats, 3rd, none on.

Eastern Oklahoma 000 204 000 — 6 6 3

Texarkana 252 225 00x — 18 20 1

Josh Miller, Seth Terry (2), Philip Parcell (7) and Danny Cartwright. Justin Fowler, Cody Wilson (4), David Phillips (5), Corey Hill (6), Josh Gill (8), Thomas Watson (9) and Lance Marvel, Malthouse (6). WP-Wilson. LP-Miller. HR: EO-Logan Schamberg, 6th, 3 on; TC-Gip Hendrix, 2nd, none on; Josh Gill, 2nd, none on; Phillips, 5th, 1 on; Gill, 6th, none on.