Elks’ Cassidy fans 14 in win
The last time Burleson won a district opener Kayden Cassidy was in eighth-grade.
Tuesday, the senior, fanned 13 as the Elks registered a 4-1 District 9-5A win at Granbury.
“A senior four-year starter comes out and carries the load for us,” Burleson coach Daniel Bruce said. “We backed him up just enough and took advantage of some Granbury errors. We hit some balls hard tonight which put pressure on them. I’m glad to start 1-0, it’s been a while since we have done that, I think.”
The Elks last district-opening win came March 11, 2014, at Everman when Burleson collected an 11-1 victory. Burleson (9-6, 1-0) hosts Joshua Friday and plays at Everman Tuesday night.
Cassidy worked 6.2 innings allowing one run on one hit. He walked three. Cameron Hauch registered the save by striking out the last two Pirates of the game.
Burleson scored twice in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Cassidy walked to open the game and moved to third on Colton McCallum’s double. Carson Hallack brought home Cassidy with a sacrifice fly and McCallum scored on an error.
Leading 2-1, the Elks added a run in the third as Cassidy opened the inning by reaching on an error and moved to third on another double by McCallum. Hallack hit another run-scoring sacrifice fly to put Burleson up, 3-1.
In the fifth, courtesy runner Kayden Jameson scored on an error for a 4-1 lead.
Elks go 2-2 at Tower Classic
Playing in its final tournament of the season, Burleson went 2-2 at the Fort Worth Western Hills Tower Classic.
“I’ve emphasized to my team that there are some good pitchers in this district and whoever makes the fewest mistakes and earliest adjustments is probably going to find a way to win those close games,” Bruce said. “They still have a ways to go and hopefully getting into a Tuesday, Friday routine will help them get into the flow of things and that will make things more consistent.”
The Elks closed out the tournament Saturday with a 10-2 loss to White Settlement Brewer.
Cassidy, who had two hits, had Burleson’s lone RBI. The Elks other run came on a steal of home by Jameson.
It took a while on Friday, but Burleson finally was able to zero in on Wichita Falls soft-tossing right-hander Jacob Weaver.
Weaver blanked the Elks for the first four innings, then Burleson erupted for five runs in the fifth to break open a 1-0 Coyotes lead.
“That was one of those games where you get lulled to sleep and might end up losing a game 1-0 that you really shouldn’t lose,” Bruce said. “I think we learned that we need to make adjustments quicker whether it be hitters or pitchers. We can’t wait until the fifth, sixth or seventh innings to do that.”
Blake Meyer started the rally by walking to open the fifth. Hayden Alexander singled then Riley Waldrip moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Cody Griever tied the game with a run-scoring infield hit.
Cassidy gave the Elks a 2-1 lead with an RBI sacrifice fly to centerfield. McCallum followed with a single that put runners at first and third. Burleson went ahead 4-1 on a two-run single by Hallack. The Elks added a fifth run on a fielding error.
The Elks opened the tournament with a 3-1 win behind the pitching of Cassidy and Hauch.
Starter Cassidy tossed four shutout innings while striking out nine. He allowed two runs and walked five. Hauch scattered three hits over three innings while fanning two and walking two.
Burleson scored three times in the fifth. Pound singled to open the inning and Alexander followed with a single. Trey Lopez moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt.
Meyer’s singled to left to score Alexander. The Elks added a second run on a wild pitch and a third run on Isaiah Smith’s RBI-double.
In their second game on Thursday, Burleson fell to Birdville, 5-2. The Elks got a run-scoring single by Jacob Amador in the sixth inning and a Pound steal of home in the second inning. Pound had two hits in the loss.