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Hawks hammer Paris for 20th victory

TEXARKANA, Texas — Pleasant Grove notched its 20th baseball win of the season with an 11-1 win at home Friday night over Paris to stay unbeaten and alone atop District 15-4A.

The Hawks improved to 20-5-1, 11-0 in district. PG was led by a masterful complete game on the mound from Hunter Rose, whose off-speed pitches looked to be batting-practice goodies down the middle before dropping like a bowling ball off a table.

“It was just a changeup,” said the soft-spoken freshman. “It worked well early, so I kept using it.”

When the dust settled, Rose had struck out 10 and walked none. In six innings, he gave up one run and three hits.

“He did a great job,” said PG coach Riley Fincher. “He filled the strike zone and attacked the batters. There were innings when he only threw 10-12 pitches.

“We talk about getting better every day and that’s where it begins – on the mound.”

Rose is among five freshmen and four sophomores playing important roles on a team ranked No. 6 in the latest coaches’ poll.

“We’re not the same team that we were when we walked on the field in January, and they’re not the same players,” Fincher said. “They’re not freshmen anymore. They’re Pleasant Grove baseball players.”

Playing the district’s bottom team, the Hawks started fast, seemed to hit the brakes, and went in for the kill when they saw the opening.

Leadoff hitter Brenton Clark greeted the visitors with a blast to the forest behind the field. Jarett Halter singled to left and was on base two batters later when Cade Martin sent a towering shot over left-center.

The Hawks made it 4-0 in the second when Halter smashed a fly to the base of the fence, where the centerfielder misplayed the ball, letting Halter reach second and scoring Walker Wright from first.

Neither team mounted a threat until the bottom of the fifth when Clark scored on a throwing error.

Paris answered in the top of the sixth with a two-out single by Jack Brazil and an RBI double by Preston Harper. Rose struck out Jagger Moore to end the inning and notch his 10th strikeout.

The game got out of hand and triggered the mercy rule with none out in the bottom of the fifth. After a rugged start, Wildcat starter Pedro Mata kept his team in the game. He was pulled after five and his three relievers recorded but one out – the one that ended the game.

A hit batsman, four consecutive walks, and a wild pitch later, the score stood at 8-1 when Clark came to the plate with two on. He represented the walk-off run. The junior smashed a triple to the wall to make it 10-1. Halter followed with a sacrifice fly to left to score Clark.

The Hawks hold a two-game lead over Liberty-Eylau, with four games to play. PG goes to Sulphur Springs Tuesday, plays North Lamar and Pittsburg at home, and finishes at Liberty-Eylau on Friday, April 28.


Sulphur Springs 10, Pleasant Grove 0

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas – District 15-4 leader Sulphur Springs tightened its grip on a title with a 10-0 softball victory over Pleasant Grove here Friday.

Senior MJ Williams went 2-for-2 to record the Lady Hawks’ only hits.

Pleasant Grove will close its regular season when it entertains Paris at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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