In recovery mode, Tigers reel off four straight wins
The Tigers wore out home plate, scoring 50 runs in three games to go 3-0 at the Gateway Classic and win it for the second straight year.
After dropping its first five games of the season, Rockdale has reeled off four straight wins to pull its record to 4-5.
“I don’t think a lot of people sit back and realize the caliber of teams we played that first week,” said Rockdale Coach Clay Cox. “Our schedule was probably one of the toughest in the state. We had two options after our start, and that was rebound or lay down.
“The guys chose the first and came out swinging in Franklin. When you combine what we did at the plate with the games our pitching staff threw you get great results.”
During the 0-5 start, the Tigers managed just three runs, including an 18-0 loss to Cameron in the season opener.
En route to the race to the plate, the Tigers swiped 27 bases, including an incredible 17 steals in the 23-1 pounding of Boerne Geneva (1-6).
They even executed a triple steal with the bases loaded, as Derek Whitsel stole home on the play.
The Tigers most definitley broke out the whipping sticks, led by Ethan Brinkley, who slammed three home runs (including a grand slam) and clubbed three doubles to account for 15 runs batted in.
The senior picked up 12 of his runs batted in in two games, with six against Lago Vista (3-4) on two home runs and six more versus Geneva on the strength of a grand slam.
The two homers in a game ties a school record and is the first time a Tiger has had two home runs in a game since Chris Yanes in 2009.
On the mound, the lefty logged a win against Lago Vista, allowing only one run and fanning eight in five innings of work.
On the year, Brinkley is hitting .500 and has already collected 19 RBI.
“Ethan Brinkley was in a zone that I have not seen before this past week,” Cox said. “He is seeing the ball extremely well and just putting the bat on the ball not trying to do too much. It’s going to be a special season for him if he continues these strides”
Pearce Loth reached base 12 out of 13 times at the plate in the tournament and is also batting .500 for the season.
The 6-foot-4 Loth also led the barrage of steals against Geneva with four.
On the mound, the sophomore right hander earned the win against the host Gateway (2-3)in five innings, allowing just one run and two hits and sitting down six.
Hayden Offield was the benefactor in the huge win over Geneva, striking out 10 batters without allowing an earned run.
“Our pitching staff threw four great games this week,” Cox said. “We have talked all year about being in games when you throw strikes and make routine plays. Week one we did not do that, this week we did”
The Tigers are taking Tuesday off before heading to Bishop to participate in the BX3 Tournament.
Prior to the tournament, the Tigers whipped Franklin 10-1 on the road for their first win of the young season.
Brinkley and Patric Trejo led the Tigers, both going 2-for-3 at the plate, with Trejo producing three RBI and Brinkley two.
Loth logged the victory with five innings of work, allowing just a single hit while striking out six.
Loth only allowed three hits and one run in 10 innings of work this past week with 11 strikeouts.
Brinkley was named the hitter of the week by the website Texas High School baseball.
This past week, the senior was 10-for-14 (.714), with four doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI’s, eight runs scored and five stolen bases.