Spartans finish sweep of Elks
Behind the pitching of Brayden Freeman and a grand-slam home run from Miguel Santos, Centennial’s baseball team completed a District 5-5A series sweep of arch-rival Burleson, 6-0, Friday night at Centennial.
Freeman worked five innings allowing one hit while striking out nine and walking five. Dawson Barnes tossed two scoreless innings to close out the game.
Centennial leads the all-time series 12-1 and is on an 11-game winning streak over the Elks. Burleson’s last win over Centennial came with a 4-2 victory on April 4, 2013.
“Brayden Freeman worked his butt off on the mound,” Centennial coach Brian Tickell said. “He worked around five walks and gave us a good five innings and Dawson Barnes came in and shut the door on them.”
The Spartans big inning came in the second when they touched Burleson starter and loser Cameron Hauch for five runs.
“It was good to see us compete against a good team,” Tickell said. “Coach Bruce has a really good club over there. I’m really happy the way we are playing now, offensively, defensively and how we are pitching.”
It was a rough inning for Hauch who came close to getting out of the inning trailing just 1-0.
The Spartans opened the inning with a single by Jacob Meador. With Meador at second base following an error, Seth De La Rosa brought him home with a run-scoring single to right.
With one out and Kendall Earheart at first following a walk, Ethan Diaz singled to center only have Elks’ center fielder Blake Myers throw De La Rosa out at the plate.
With two out, Centennial loaded the bases with a walk by Barnes before Santos drove a pitch over the left-field wall for a 5-0 lead.
“I thought we played well, especially with a pitcher like Burleson had on the mound,” Tickell said. “He’s pretty good and I thought we did a great job at the plate competing against him. We might have struck out 10 times but we got on base and drove runs in when we needed to.”
Hauch, who had not lost a start in district play, allowed six runs on seven hits in six innings. The senior fanned 10 and walked three.
In the fifth, the Spartans added a run when Santos, who had hit a leadoff single and moved to third on a Gabe Irwin double, scored on a wild pitch.
The Elks had chances in the game. Burleson stranded two runners in the second, fifth and sixth innings and left a runner on in the third and fourth innings.
“Credit to Freeman,” Burleson coach Daniel Bruce said. “He kept us off balance and got the big out when he needed it. Centennial did the same thing they did on Tuesday and came up big in the big situations.”