By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
Junior southpaw pitcher Tanner Frick is an unflappable force on the mound for the 2015 Belton Tigers.
But every once in a while, it’s great to have help from your friends.
After getting roughed up for a pair of runs in the third inning, Frick retired nine of the final 11 hitters he faced and got a three-run homer from Hobey Hiland and grand slam homer from Chase Sortor in Belton’s 12-2, four-and-a-half-inning win over Copperas Cove Friday afternoon at Tiger Field.
The win pushed Belton’s record to 2-0 in District 12-6A play and 4-7 overall.
Belton jumped on the board in the bottom of the first. Coby Potvin walked and Miguel Quinones sacrificed Potvin down to second base. Potvin moved up to third base on a wild pitch. Jacob Alexander was hit by a pitch, which brought up Hiland. He lined a 3-1 pitch over the left-centerfield wall to make the score 3-0.
Tim Bechtold homered in the top of the third to bring Cove back to within a run at 3-2.
Belton got the two runs back in the bottom of the frame. Potvin was hit by a pitch and sacrificed to second by Quinones. Hiland singled in Potvin to make the score 4-2. He then stole second and scored on Shane Stafford’s single.
Frick made short work of the Dawgs in the top of the fourth inning before the Tigers broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Dustin Tish doubled, Brandon Rudy walked, Potvin was once again hit by a pitch, Quinones singled home Tish, Alexander singled home Rudy and Hiland singled home Potvin to make the score 8-2. Sortor worked the count full before crushing a towering fly ball that kept carrying through the damp, gray Belton sky and over the left-centerfield wall for a grand slam homer to clear the bases and make the score 12-2.
Frick hit Bechtol with a pitch to lead off the fifth and made it all the way to third base, before he and the Tigers retired Cove to end the ball game.
“Frick was a little shaky at the start,” Belton head coach Eddie Cornblum said. “But he worked through it and ended up throwing 84 pitches. He pitched well overall and I’m proud of him.”
Hiland and Sortor each had four runs batted in for the Tigers.
“This is the type of breakout game we needed,” Cornblum said. “It was a solid team effort.”
Whitman, Stafford, Tish combine for no-hitter against Killeen
Some accomplishments have a little more sweetness with a some help from your friends.
That certainly was the case Tuesday night, as Cameron Whitman, Trent Stafford and Dustin Tish combined for a seven-inning no-hitter in Killeen picking up a 5-0 win.
Coby Potvin set the table for the Tigers in the first inning, singling to start the game. He advanced to second on a sacrifice by Miguel Quinones and stole third base. He scored on an error by the third baseman to make the score 1-0.
Belton scored twice in the second with two outs. Tish singled and stole second. Brandon Rudy knocked in Tish with a single. Rudy moved up to second on an overthrow and scored on Potvin’s double to make the score 3-0.
Tish’s triple in the fourth set up an RBI groundout by Rudy to make the score 4-0.
The runs were enough to support four solid innings by Whitman, who struck out four batters and walked two. Trent Stafford took the reins in the fifth and sixth innings, retiring six batters in a row.
Belton picked up another run in the fifth with two outs, as Shane Stafford doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Aaron Reed’s single made the score 5-0.
Tish came on to pitch in the bottom of the seventh, striking out a batter and walking a batter.
The trio of Whitman, Trent Stafford and Tish combined for 97 pitches, six strikeouts and four walks.