Monday, February 9, 2009

No fooling around

No fooling around

Eastern Oklahoma’s Jesse Santo tags out Texarkana College’s David Allday Sunday at George Dobson Field.
John Stilson is fooling a lot of people, including his coach.

The Texarkana College freshman, and former Texas High baseball standout said he still isn’t 100 percent from shoulder surgery he had last year, but that wasn’t evident Sunday at George Dobson Field where the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader from Eastern Oklahoma, 6-0 and 13-2.

Stilson was 3-for-3 at the plate in the opener with a 3-run homer, and was the winning pitcher in the nightcap after throwing the first five frames in the 9-inning contest.

“If he’s not 100 percent, he’s got me fooled,” Texarkana coach Will Bolt said. “His performance is a tribute to his competitiveness. Eastern Oklahoma is known for its hitting, and John shut them down pretty good.”

Texarkana (3-1) only trailed once Sunday, that coming in the first inning of the second game when Stephen Hagen lined a two-run homer over the wall in center. Stilson would retire the next 11 batters, but a throwing error in the fifth got him in a one-out, bases-loaded jam.

The hard-throwing (clocked in low 90s) righthander escaped the threat with a strikeout, and bouncer back to the mound. He left the game after throwing 75 pitches.

“I slowed everything down today,” Stilson said. “Yesterday I was overreacting to everything. Today I just trusted my hands when hitting.”

Freshmen Ty Moore, Colton Reavis and Justin Fielden followed Stilson to the mound, blanking the Mountaineers (0-3-1) on one hit.

Five Eastern Oklahoma hurlers did not enjoy as much success. They were shelled for 12 hits, including solo roundtrippers by sophomores Gip Hendrix and Lance Marvel. Hendrix, who also homered in the opener, had a double and two singles to go with his second four-bagger of the day, while Marvel lined a ground-rule double that hit the bag at third, and landed over the fence near the Bulldogs’ dugout.

The Oklahomans were still leading 2-0 when Texarkana took advantage of three Mountaineer errors in the fourth to capture the lead.

David Allday reached safely on an infield miscue, scoring moments later when Hendrix lined a double over the centerfielder’s head. Hendrix continued to third on a throwing error by the catcher, scoring on Marvel’s double. Another infield error and walk loaded the bases, followed by a two-single to left by pinch-hitter Austin Atwell.

Ian Gilley had two hits, scored twice and drove home two runs for the Bulldogs in the second game, with Allday contributing a two-run triple.

A solo home run by Atwell in the first inning was the only run Tanner Bailey needed in the first game. The 6-foot-7 righthander scattered three hits, walked one and struck out eight in six innings. Future Aggie Joaquin Hinojoso retired the Mountaineers in order in the seventh.

Texarkana led 3-0 after the first frame. Hinojoso reached on a fielder’s choice and scored ahead of Hendrix’s towering home run to left.

Southpaws Phillip Parcell and Caleb Walker held the Bulldogs in check after that until the sixth.

Back-to-back walks to Thomas Watson and Allday staged Stilson’s monstrous blast over the left field fence.

“This kind of performance is great to see,” Bolt said. “It’s good to see that we can bounce back from things like yesterday’s loss to Temple. We could have felt sorry for ourselves. Someone said, ‘losing early stands for learning.’ We didn’t execute our game plan, but we showed we’re capable of putting big innings together.”

Eastern’s only scoring opportunity in the opener came in the fifth when Bryce Killingsworth reached on an error, and raced to third when Jesse Santo delivered an opposite-field single to right on a hit-and-run. Bailey’s seventh strikeout quelled the threat.

Texarkana has five road games scheduled later this week, starting with Galveston on Thursday in Lufkin.


Eastern Oklahoma 000 000 0 — 0 3 0

Texarkana College 300 003 x — 6 7 2

Phillip Parcell, Caleb Walker (5) and Brady White. Tanner Bailey, Joaquin Hinojoso (7) and Jordy Snikeris. WP-Bailey (1-0); LP-Parcell (0-1). HR: Tex-Austin Atwell, 1st, none on; Gip Hendrix, 1st, 1 on; John Stilson, 6th, 2 on.


Eastern Oklahoma 200 000 000 — 2 6 3

Texarkana College 000 417 01x — 13 12 1

Jimmy Johnson, Seth Terry (4), Zach Garling (6), Tyler Vann (6), John Frisby (8) and White; Stilson, Ty Moore (6), Colton Reavis (8), Justin Fielden (9) and Lance Marvel. WP-Stilson (1-0); LP-Johnson. HR-E. Okla.: Stephen Hagen, 1st, 1 on. Tex-Hendrix, 5th, none on; Marvel, 8th, none on.