By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The Belton JV White squad plated five runs in the first inning and Aaron Krueger pitched a perfect game, as the Tigers run-ruled Harker Heights 10-0 in five innings at Tiger Field Monday evening.
Krueger pitched his second no-hitter in consecutive outings, the first coming against Ellison last Wednesday.
Following retiring the Knights in order in the first inning, Payton Vybiral tripled, Reese Perry walked and Tannor Fischer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Caleb Smith doubled down the right-field line for a two-run double and moved Fischer up to third. Krueger singled home Fischer to make the score 3-0. Travis Kastner singled in Smith and Krueger to increase the lead to 5-0.
Kyle Hobbs made an amazing diving catch as second base for the first out of the second inning to save. Hobbs went to his right and backhanded a ball that would have been a sure-fire single. Krueger struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Heights changed pitchers and it took the Tigers two-plus innings to break through. Brandon Krauskopf, Hobbs and Cameron Parker walked to load the bases in the bottom of the fourth. Vybiral walked to force in Krauskopf. Perry’s fielder’s choice resulted in an error, scoring Hobbs and Parker to make the score 8-0. Smith doubled down the left-field line scoring Perry to make the score 9-0.
Krueger cruised through the fifth inning, getting a good play from Krauskopf charging in from shortstop, fielding a ball right behind the mound glove-side and tossing a seed to Shane Mejia for the out.
Gabe Balderas pinch hit for Mejia in the bottom of the fifth inning and hit a rocket down the right-field line that he legged out for a triple. Travis Kastner hit a slow roller to second base to knock in Balderas to end the game by way of the 10-run lead after five inning rule.
The walk-off RBI also gave Krueger a five-inning perfect game, in which he struck out eight batters.
“I really had all my pitches working tonight,” Krueger said. “The defense was behind me and the offense hit well.”
The battery of Krueger and Fischer worked perfectly in tandem.
“Tannor was the perfect guy behind the plate tonight,” Krueger said. “He called a great game and he knows what I like to throw. It worked great tonight and the team was behind me.”