Cedar Creek coach Ben Haddox asked his starting pitcher Jacob Brown before the Cougars’ quarterfinal game with No. 2 St. Frederick how much run support he needed to pull it out.
Brown told his coach he’d be alright with three. Maybe his teammates were feeling generous since they gave him 10.
No. 7 Cedar Creek booked a bus ride to the Class 1A semifinals in Sulphur with a 10-2 win over the Warriors (21-11) on Monday night at Warrior Field in Monroe.
“These kids did a good job of coming out and hitting the baseball. We’ve been fortunate enough to do that the last four to five games,” Haddox said. “Both Brown and (catcher) Austin McNeill were great for us tonight.”
The Cougars (29-5) inched out to a 4-1 lead in the top of the third on a combination of hits and St. Frederick errors. Brown singled to bring in nine-hole hitter Aaron Hunt, followed by an error that put McNeill on and scored leadoff man Mark Van.
Cole Frasier’s RBI and Wes Grisham’s single brought in Brown and McNeill for two more.
St. Frederick couldn’t muster a hit until the bottom of the fourth inning when Will Daniels went yard for the Warriors’ first run of the night. Patrick Kelly came up two batters later and hit a single, but the Cougars worked their way out of the inning.
Brown went the rest of the game, allowing only another run and no more hits.
“Without a doubt that’s probably his biggest strength is staying even keeled. He just looked at the dugout and shook his head (after the home run),” Haddox said. ‘It was a good pitch and a good piece of batting so sometimes you’ve just got to tip your hat.”
Despite their offensive woes, the Warriors stayed in the game down 5-1 entering the top of the seventh. That’s when it really got bad for St. Frederick.
St. Frederick starter Patrick Whipple gave way to Daniels after allowing Van’s third hit of the night. With Van the only runner, Daniels walked the bases loaded, setting up a Cedar Creek run on an errant throw on a fielder’s choice. McNeill beat out a bunt that scored the next Cougar run on the following at-bat.
Daniels gave way to Seth Christian on the mound, but three more runs followed that made the score 10-1. Cedar Creek collected 10 hits overall.
“Patrick matched them and did a good job but we couldn’t get any hits and that’s a credit to them,” St. Frederick coach Jim Rushworth said. “They took advantage of our mistakes and capitalized on it.
“The score doesn’t indicate how close the game was to me but they were still better than we were tonight.”
St. Frederick scored its last run in the bottom of the seventh.
Cedar Creek’s next opponent is No. 3 Central Catholic in the semifinals at McMurry Park in Sulphur.