That's A (Season Opening) Winner

Krik Pierce drove in three runs and A.J. Castleman struck out 10 batters as the Houston Tigers opened the 2008 baseball season Monday with a 6-2 victory against Thayer.

Junior Ty Scheets homered for the Tigers, who will face Salem in Tuesday’s second round of the SCA Tournament.

Castleman was strong in his first game as the ace of an inexperienced staff. He fanned six of the first 11 batters he faced to jumpstart six strong innings. Castleman gave up three hits and two earned runs.

Pierce, who signed with Evangel last week. appears to already be in his all-state form from last season. He doubled off the left-field fence in his first at-bat and finished 3-for-4 with a triple and two stolen bases.

David Weybright and Dustin Carter had two hits each for Houston, which scored in all but one inning. Tom Oakley and Scheets drove in a run apiece off Thayer starter Clinton Caldwell, who was touched for 10 hits and four runs in six innings.

Pierce doubled to score Weybright in the first inning and singled him home in the third to make it 2-0.

Thayer’s Garrett Smith doubled on a misplayed flyball to center field in the fourth and scored one batter later. The Bobcats threatened to tie the game on a bloop single to left field, but Scheets fired a strike to Pierce to nail Hargus at the plate.

Oakley’s RBI double in the fifth put Houston ahead 4-2. Two batters later, Scheets smoked a fastball over the 330-foot sign in left-center field.

Pierce’s RBI triple in the sixth was the Tigers’ final tally.

Thayer 000 110 0 – 2 3 2

Houston 101 121 x – 6 10 2

THAYER – Cruse 2b 4-0-0-1. Martin cf 2-0-0-0. Eckman ss 3-0-0-0. Smith 3b 3-1-1-0. Hargus lf 3-0-1-0. Brown 1b 3-0-1-0. Barnes c 2-1-0-0. Ary dh 2-0-0-0. Risner rf 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-3-1.

HOUSTON – Weybright ss/p 3-2-2-0. Castleman p/3b 3-0-0-0. Smith cr 0-1-0-0. Pierce c 4-0-3-3. Smith 3b/ss 3-1-0-0. Oakley 1b 3-0-1-1. Pounds 2b 3-0-0-0. Scheets lf 3-1-1-1. Carter dh 3-1-2-0. Belt cf 3-0-1-0. Totals 28-6-10-5.

2B: Smith, Pierce, Oakley. 3B: Pierce. HR: Scheets. SB: Pierce 2, Weybright.

thayer ip h r er bb so

Caldwell, L 6 10 6 4 1 7

houston ip h r er bb so

Castleman, W 6 3 2 2 3 10

Weybright 1 0 0 0 0 2

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