HHS junior Wyatt Hughes delivers a pitch during his historic outing against Ellington Wednesday at Tiger Field. Hughes recorded 17 strikeouts in the contest, which ranks 27th all-time for a 7-inning game in Missouri. Credit: DOUG DAVISON | HOUSTON HERALD

The Whippets got whipped last week in Houston.

On the strength of a historic pitching performance by junior Wyatt Hughes and another base-stealing clinic by senior Garyn Hall, the Houston High School baseball team beat the Ellington Whippets 8-2 in a Senior Night game May 3 at Tiger Field.

Hughes struck out a career-high 17 batters while going the distance on the mound in the contest, the highest total by a Houston hurler since the 2019 season and one of the highest in team history. During the stellar outing, he allowed only 2 hits and issued only 1 walk.

“That was a pretty dominant performance,” said head coach Brent Hall, who’s in his 26th year in the position. “He was fighting his fastball a little bit early in the game, but then he got right back to it.”

Meanwhile, Garyn Hall stole 3 bases to raise his season total to 41, breaking his own school record of 40 set last season. Hall is second all-time in career steals in Missouri (and was recently interviewed on TV for it).

Ellington actually got on the board first when 6-3 senior catcher Jakob Farmer crushed a towering solo home run to center field with 2 outs in the top of the first inning. But that’s all the fun Farmer had at the plate, as he went down swinging the next two times he stepped up to the plate.

Houston evened the score in the bottom of the first, and went on to score at least 1 run in every inning but the seventh.

Three Ellington pitchers combined to allow 7 hits, give up 7 walks and hit 3 batters in the game, while the squad’s fielder committed 5 errors.

HHS stolen base record-setter Garyn Hall puts on his sliding glove after reaching first base with a walk during Tigers’ win over Ellington last week at Tiger Field.

Junior center fielder Aiden Kelly had another multi-hit outing for the Tigers, going 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI and a run scored. HHS senior Garyn Hall went 1-for-2 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored, and also stole 3 bases to raise his season total to 41, breaking his own school record of 40 set last season.

Hughes threw 107 pitches in the game, 75 for strikes.

“When 17 of your 21 outs in a game are strikeouts, that pretty much speaks for itself.”

Following the game, Houston’s six seniors were recognized, including Hall, Austin Goetz, Trenton Lathrom, Casey Merckling, Danny Venable and Ryan Wolfe.

The Tigers traveled to St. Louis last Saturday to face Shelbyville, Ill., in an exhibition game at Busch Stadium.

“It’s kind of every kid’s dream to get to play on that field,” coach Hall said.

This week, the Tigers (18-4) are scheduled to wrap up the regular season with road games Tuesday at Mansfield and Wednesday at Ava. The contest at Ava is Houston’s South Central Association conference finale.

The Tigers will host next week’s Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 District 9 Tournament. Houston is seeded second in the 5-team field and will face No. 3 Mansfield in a semifinals matchup at 2 p.m. Tuesday (May 16). Licking is the top seed in the event and will play in the semi’s against the winner of a play-in game between No. 4 Liberty and No 5 Thayer that is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday.

The district championship game is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday (May 17).

Seniors on the HHS baseball team gather prior to Wednesday’s Senior Night game against Ellington at Tiger Field. From left, Ryan Wolfe, Trenton Lathrom, Casey Merckling, Austin Goetz, Garyn Hall and Danny Venable.
The Class 3 District 9 Tournament bracket.

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 ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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