Leonard jumps on Anna early

The Leonard Tigers jumped out to a 7-1 lead after three innings on Saturday, March 11, at Anna and went on to best the Coyotes, 10-4. Class 3A Leonard only out-hit Anna, 9-7, but the Coyotes were hamstrung by six errors. Four Anna pitchers allowed three earned runs and struck out four. Koy Harris posted five innings of work, allowing five hits with three strikeouts. Jeran Lewis came on for two innings, permitting two hits and fanning one batter. Colton Brown and Derek Kirshner shared the final inning.

Zach Howard led Coyotes’ batting attack, with two hits in three at-bats. Daniel Scott, Jacob Williams, Lawrence Goade, Jeran Lewis and Marshall Good also tallied hits for Anna (6-5-3).

Coyotes’ big seventh inning dumps Lone Oak

Anna’s Coyotes (6-4-3) used a seven-run third inning to throttle Class 3A Lone Oak on Friday, March 10, at the Anna Sports Complex, their second tournament win of the day. Jeran Lewis went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI to lead Coyote batters, as teammates Daniel Scott and Koy Harris each posted 2 RBIs with a single apiece. Jacob Williams and Colton Brown also posted hit for Anna.

Scott also pitched the whole way for the Coyotes, allowing no earned runs on two hits and striking out eight. Anna out-hit the Buffaloes, 6-2, and both teams committed two errors.

Anna’s Howard blanks Blue Ridge

ANNA — Zach Howard tossed seven innings of shut-out ball and struck out seven on Friday, March 10, to lead the Anna Coyotes past Blue Ridge, 7-0, at the Anna Sports Complex. The Coyotes backed up Howard’s gem with nine hits and error-free defense.

“That’s two good outings in a row for Zach,” Anna head coach Joey Hector said. “We put him out there last week against Dallas Sunset and he came through that game and did a good job. We’re glad to see him back up that outing with this outing.”

Blue Ridge head coach Matthew Todd was impressed with Howard as well.

“Their pitcher controlled the mound well, threw lots of strikes, kept us off balance,” he said. “We’re a good-hitting team and he was able to keep us off balance, and work inside, outside the plate with a good curve ball.”

The Tigers were coming off a 6-5 tournament win over Lone Oak, a game in which they trailed, 5-0, heading into the final inning.

Coyote Koy Harris went 3-for-3 at the plate versus Blue Ridge, with four RBIs. Lawrence Goade also had a fine day with the bat, connecting for hits twice on four at-bats, with an RBI. Howard, Jacob Williams, Marshall Good and Dillon Burr also posted hits for Anna.

“They’re improving (at bat),” Howard said. “We’re up and down. We’re starting to get our timing down. We’re getting enough games under our belt where they’re getting comfortable. They’re still making adjustments. We’ve got some ways to go, but they’re doing a good job.”

Anna (5-4-3) opened the game with a run in the first, as Jake Williams scored from third on a wild pitch. In the third inning, the Coyotes struck for two more — with Harris’ line-drive single to center field driving home Williams for one, and Harris scoring from third on a passed ball for the other. Anna boosted its lead to 5-0 in the fifth. With one out, Harris lofted a single to center to bring home Gabe Surdukan, followed by Goade’s line-drive shot to left that scored Harris. In the sixth, the Coyote tacked on runs 6 and 7 when Harris’ fly-ball single to right scored Champ Gonzalez and Dillon Burr.

Asked about facing 2A completion like Blue Ridge in this tournament, Hector explained that classification in baseball doesn’t always matter like it does in other high school sports.

“It’s not like football or even basketball where eventually numbers take over,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what ‘A’ you are when it comes to baseball if you’ve got a guy on the mound who can chunk. He can carry a team. What does happen is, up and down the lineup, the depth of the lineup is a little bit of an issue for smaller schools. But the schools in this tournament, they’re very well coached, very well respected. They’re all good ball clubs.”

He added, “I guess we’re the biggest (classification) school in this tournament, but we’re definitely not the biggest team. Everybody’s a whole lot bigger than we are.”

— Rick Atkinson

Coyote pitchers combine to no-hit Dodd City

Anna pitchers Koy Harris and Dillon Burr combined for a no-hitter in the Coyotes’ 12-0 win over Class 2A Dodd City on Thursday, March 9, at the Anna Sports Complex. Anna hitters chased Hornets pitcher Clayton Dockery from the mound in the first inning with nine earned runs. Harris and Jeran Lewis each posted two hits in the game, and Lewis and Jacob Williams each collected a team-high 3 RBIs. Zach Howard, Lawrence Goade, Marshall Good and Fabian Balderas also had hits for the Coyotes (4-4-3).

Harris threw three innings in the run-rule shortened game, collecting four strikeouts and walking one, before Burr came on for one inning, posting two strikeouts and no walks.