As the squad enters the meat of the season’s schedule, the Houston High School baseball team picked up a big win Monday in a South Central Association conference game at Salem, as the visiting Tigers blanked the host Tigers, 12-0.

Houston also won last Thursday at Bourbon, 23-3, and split a pair of contests Saturday at the annual Alton Tournament, falling to Gainesville, 8-3, and then blanking Alton, 9-0.

Senior Garyn Hall led the way at Salem with stellar performances on the mound, at the plate and on the base paths. The Tigers’ conerstone threw a complete game-2-hitter, striking out 9 and not issuing a walk. With the bat, he went 3-for-4 with a double, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. And while he was on base, Hall swiped a whopping 5 bags.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and then added 3 runs in each of the next 3 frames before scoring twice in the fifth inning.

Eight different Tigers had at least 1 hit in the contest. Senior center fielder Ryan Wolfe went 2-for-3 with a walk and 2 runs scored.


The Diamond Tigers put up 2 runs in the top of the first inning in their first game at Alton, but Gainesville cut the deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the frame and then took control of the contest with 4 runs in the second inning, 2 in the third and 1 more in the fourth.

Houston junior Wyatt Hughes delivers a pitch last Saturday at Alton.

Junior Wyatt Hughes started on the mound for Houston and took the loss while working 5 innings, allowing 10 hits and 6 earned runs while striking out 7 and walking 2.

Hall went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Tigers, with 2 runs scored and 3 stolen bases. Hughes was 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI, while Wolfe went 1-for-3 and had an RBI single in the first inning.

Against host Alton, three Houston pitchers combined to toss a 1-hit shutout. Senior Danny Venable started and went 5 innings, allowing just 1 hit while fanning 6 and walking 4. Junior Aiden Kelly came in for the sixth inning and Hall worked the seventh, with both striking out the side.

The Tigers had 8 hits in the victory and took advantage of 13 walks.

Wolfe went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, an RBI and a run scored, while Hughes was 1-for-1 with a double, 2 walks, 3 RBIs and a run.

Houston scored 3 times in the top of the second inning and then added 2 in the fifth, 1 in the sixth and 3 in the seventh.


The rout at Bourbon wasn’t that way for 6 innings, but the Tigers exploded for 16 runs on 11 hits and 6 walks in the top of the seventh.

Hall, senior third baseman Casey Merckling and sophomore outfielder Shaun Buck each had two hits in the frame, while Venable and Hughes each reached base twice with a walk and a hit.

Houston racked up 20 hits in the contest. Junior first baseman Stone Jackson had a career day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a home run, 2 doubles, a walk, 2 RBIs and 4 runs scored. Buck went 3-for-5 with 4 RBIs and 3 runs, while Hall, Hughes, Merckling, Venable, Wolfe and senior right fielder Austin Goetz all had multi-hit outings. Goetz had his best day of the season with the bat, going 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, a walk, an RBI and 2 runs scored.

Kelly started on the mound for Houston and worked the first 3 innings, while the hard-throwing Buck tossed the last 4 frames, striking out 10.

The Tigers (7-2 through Monday) host SCA games against Mountain Grove on Thursday (April 6) and Thayer on Monday, and play Friday and Saturday in the annual Plato Spring Tournament.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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