ANNA – On Saturday, the Anna Coyotes defeated Pottsboro, 9-7, in the championship game of the annual Pottsboro baseball tournament, held this year at the Anna Sports Complex. The tournament ran last Thursday through Saturday with six other teams competing including Van Alstyne, Callisburg, Whitesboro, Paradise, Bonham and Leonard.
At tournament’s end the Coyotes’ season record had improved to 4-0. Below are recaps of each Anna game, in order.
Coyotes 6, Whitesboro 2
After a one-hour weather delay Thursday afternoon, Anna downed Whitesboro behind a strong turn on the mound by starter Jaden Torres. Torres went all six innings for the Coyotes, throwing 74 pitches with five strike outs and one walk while allowing one earned one. Anna put up four timely hits, including a pair of doubles - one by Rawley Hector, the other a 2-RBI job by Torres - and that was plenty.
Three Bearcat pitchers combined to strike out seven and walk 10 - including Hector twice.
“I thought Jaden did a really good job,” Anna head coach Joey Hector said. “He threw a lot of strikes. And he did a good job of throwing it up, making them put the ball in play. And we made the plays, defensively. … I’m proud of the approach they had. They’re doing a good job of trying to execute a game plan.”
Anna broke open a tight contest with three runs in the fourth to lead, 5-1. In that half-inning, the Coyotes loaded the bases on two walks and an error, setting the table for Torres’ double to right field. Hector came home from third on an infield error for that 5-1 advantage. In the fifth, three-straight walks loaded the bases for Anna again and Mason Simmons stole home for a 6-1 lead.
Whitesboro got one back in the sixth on a called infield error at first base that looked more like interference by the Bearcat runner.
The Coyotes opened the scoring with two runs in the first. Hector’s line-drive double to left got things going followed by Jaden Adams’ single to right. Hector then scored from third on a double-steal as Adams took second. Dylan Burr’s single to center brought Adams home for a 2-0 lead.
Coming on the heels of Anna’s 9-hit win in the season-opener at Farmersville, things look cautiously positive at the plate so far. “They’re swinging the bats a little bit,” Hector said. “We’re working hard. Of course, you know that can come and go just like anything else can.”
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Whitesboro 0 0 1 0 0 1 X 2 5 3
Anna 2 0 0 3 1 X X 6 4 2
Coyotes 1, Van Alstyne 0
Zach Howard’s double to center that brought home Jacob Odom in the bottom of sixth inning was the only run Anna would need in topping the Panthers on Friday. Pitcher Dylan Crawford provided the 3-hit shutout for the Coyotes, striking out five and walking one. Van Alstyne’s Chandler David struck out 10 and allowed two hits, but Howard’s two-bagger was a big one.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Van Alstyne 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
Anna 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 1 2 0
Coyotes 9, Pottsboro 7
Leading, 9-2, entering the seventh inning, Anna held off the Cardinals’ late 5-run push to claim the tournament championship Saturday afternoon. Hector got the save in his first pitching appearance of the season. Coming on with two outs and on a runner on the third, Hector needed just three pitches to close it out with a grounder to second baseman Crawford.
Howard went four innings on the mound for Anna, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out five and walking five. Derek Kirschner came on in the fifth for 2.2 innnings, giving up five runs on seven hits runs with a strikeout and a walk.
Hector went 3-for-4 at the plate with two triples and two RBIs, and Jayden Rodgers went 2-for-3 with a double. Anna pulled away with two runs in the fifth and four in the sixth.
“I thought we swung the bats well, had a lot of guys chip in with extra-base hits,” Coach Hector said. “We played really good defensively. Zach struggled a little bit with his control. Derek came in and did a really good job. He threw well. We made some defensive mistakes in that last inning that cost him. You can’t be doing that against a team like Pottsboro. … I thought Rawley closed the game well.”
As for the winds gusting to 35 miles per hour, Hector said, “I was extremely proud of our outfielders. They played everything really well. Coach [Jorge] Rubio did a good job getting them into position. To catch a fly ball in this is tough.”
With the Coyotes’ record now at 4-0, are there any pleasant surprises in the team’s play? “I wouldn’t say surprises,” Hector said. “I’d say we’re playing decent baseball. We’ve pitched really well all year up until today when we had a little hiccup. … We’ve got some guys that are doing some things that are catching our eye. And we’ve got a few guys that aren’t hot yet, haven’t got it going yet, but it’ll come.”
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Pottsboro 0 0 2 0 0 0 5 7 11 3
Anna 2 0 1 0 2 4 X 9 8 2