By Tony Adams

Belton Journal

The Belton Tigers Baseball squad completed its non-district schedule this past weekend as they played at the Jay Higgins Classic Tournament, held by Richardson ISD.

Storms rolled through the Metroplex on Thursday, which cancelled the Tigers’ first two scheduled games.

Once the Tigers took the field on Friday in Richardson, Belton was on a mission to run the table.

Against North Garland, Reese Rumfield ripped a home run and Easton Drake had three hits, and Luke Lamberte drove home two runs as the Tigers received a three-hitter from Cole Heisler for a 7-1 win over Raiders.

Rumfield blasted a pitch over the rightfield wall to score Sam Shepard and Logan Baker to put the Tigers up in the second inning, 3-0.

Lamberte scored Drake on an RBI single in the third inning, Drake drove in Rumfield on a single, and Lamberte’s bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

Heisler drove in Aaron Wood on a single in the sixth for the final run of the contest. Heisler struck out nine batters over six innings for the victory on the hill.

In a matchup against Richardson, the Tigers outcame a three-run, first-inning deficit to score six runs and hold off a late rally for a 6-5 win.

Bryson Sauceda scored two runs, one on a wild pitch in the second and another on a passed ball in the third. Rayshaun Peoples’ single scored Jose Rangel and Heisler scored on an error in the third to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.

Heisler’s fly ball in the top of the fourth was misplayed which scored Rumfield, and Rangel scored on an error to increase Belton’s lead to three.

The Eagles rallied for two runs in the fifth inning but could not find the equalizer as the Tigers emerged with the one-run victory.

Peoples logged the only Tiger hit as Belton took advantage of eight walks, four errors, and a hit batter in the win.

Drake picked up the win on the mound, having allowed one earned run on four hits, struck out three and walked one. Brett Shadrick pitched two innings of relief, allowed two runs on three hits, and allotted three walks.

On Saturday, the Tigers took on the Hillcrest Panthers to start the day.

Sebastian Davila logged two hits and Rumfield, Wood, Haisler, and Shadrick each drove in runs as the Tigers nipped the Panthers, 4-2.

Baker tossed an eight-hitter, having allowed two first inning runs, walked one, hit four batters, and struck out three.

Heisler’s single in the first scored Wood to get the Tigers on the board.

Down 2-1 in the top of the second, Shadrick’s single scored Peoples, Rumfield’s fielder’s choice scored Shepard, and Wood’s sacrifice fly plated Gage Flores to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead.

The Tigers concluded the tournament with a matchup against Carrollton Creekview.

Belton’s two-run rally in the top of the seventh gave the Tigers a sweep of the tournament with a 5-4 win over the Mustangs.

Shepard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second inning, as it forced home Heisler to start the scoring. Shadrick’s bases-loaded walk scored Sauceda, and Wood’s bases-loaded walk moved Lamberte across the dish to tie the score at 3-3.

Creekview scored in the bottom of the second and held the lead until the top of the seventh inning.

Trap Johnson’s single scored Heisler to tie the game at 4-4. With two outs, Shepard singled home Sauceda for the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning run.

Rangel pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowed four runs on six hits, walked five, and struck out six. Sauceda pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win in relief, as he struck out one.

“We had a great showing in Richardson,” Belton head coach Mark Krueger said. “We toughed it out against good competition.”

The Tigers will take on University on Friday, which is the back half of the District 22-5A opening series, which started in Waco on Tuesday.