AP NEWS

First week of district a split

March 18, 2019

Two runs were good enough for Crosby to get a win in its first district game, but the four runs that it scored in its second district game left them well short.

The Crosby Cougars beat the Galena Park 2-1 in the District 22-5A opener in Crosby on March 12 and lost 9-4 to the Goose Creek Memorial Patriots in their second 22-5A game two days later in Crosby.

“That was one of the first times this year our pitching came out and didn’t perform like they normally do,” coach Chris Wiggins said after the loss to the Patriots. “We gave up nine walks and hit two batters. Giving up 11 free bases is not going to get you very far.”

Goose Creek senior Tristan Pitkin launched a three-run home run to right field off of Crosby sophomore Sebastian Zapata in the top of the first inning.

Zapata pitched two innings. Junior Gavin Harris got two outs in the third. Junior Jacob Esquivel got the final out in the third inning and pitched the remainder of the game.

Goose Creek added three runs in the top of the third, two of which came on bases loaded walks. The Patriots added a run in the top of the fourth on a RBI double that squeezed inside the third base line and two unearned runs in the top of the fifth.

Crosby put together a mini two-out rally a run in the bottom of the third inning and got a run on an RBI single to center field by junior Patrick Brennan that drove in sophomore Dalton Chaffin, who had walked.

Crosby scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth before recording an out, knocking out starting pitcher senior Uli Quiroga but were unable to add more runs after that.

Sophomore JD Woodruff led off the half inning with a walk. Esquivel was grazed by a pitch. Senior Riley Ranking singled to right advancing the runners, and Woodruff scored on a throwing error.

The next batter, junior Toryn Henshaw smoked a double to left center, scoring Esquivel and Rankin.

Brennan came up with two outs and hit a ball to deep left field which was caught right in front of the fence.

“They’re going to fight for seven innings,” Wiggins said. “I think that’s important. I think that’s kind of a staple of our program. We’re never going to feel like we’re out of it.”

Crosby sophomore Nick Mooney threw a complete game in the win over Galena Park, giving up six hits, striking out three, walking one, and giving up one run, which was unearned.

“I think we had a real good win coming in,” Wiggins said of the win over Galena Park. “I think our pitching was what we expected, and Nick did a great job keeping them to the one run. They’re a good hitting ball club.”

Goose Creek Memorial is one of two teams in eight-team District 22-5A to win both of its first two district games (along with Santa Fe). Crosby is one of three teams in the district to split its first two games.

“Us getting out of there (the game against Galena Park) with a win was big for us, especially us being so young,” Wiggins said. “That’s important for them to get in there and know that they can battle with anybody.”

Crosby’s starting lineup against Goose Creek contained two sophomores, five juniors, and two seniors. Both relief pitchers were juniors.

Including those first two games, Crosby has 14 district games throughout March and April.

“We’re going to come back Monday, and we’re going to get to work,” Wiggins said after the Goose Creek game. “I think we can compete with everybody in our district.”

“We’re still working out kinks, us being a young baseball team. We’re taking some lumps because that’s what you do when you learn the game, about how to play at this level, but the young ones that we have are mixing well with the older kids, and they’re learning how to compete as a group, and that’s what’s important for our program.”

Crosby’s next two games are at Galveston Ball at 6 P.M. on Tuesday March 19 and at home against Texas City at 7 P.M. on Friday March 22.

elliott.lapin@chron.com