The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) varsity baseball team started the season 4-0 this past weekend in a tournament in Cuero.
RFHS Head Baseball Coach Tudi Elizondo could not have asked for a better end result from his team having played in only one scrimmage prior to the tourney. They were the only team to go undefeated. Elizondo said he wanted them to be as aggressive as possible at the plate.
“I stress attack. I stress for them to swing at good pitches. I feel like if we wait, we’re going to put ourselves in a bind, so we were just going to attack as much as we can,” said Elizondo.
That aggressiveness led to the Pirates taking early leads in all four games they played in. RFHS took a 3-0 at the end of the first inning against Gonzales, Victoria West, and Yoakum, against Cuero, they took a 7-1 lead.
“Before the tournament even started, I told them ‘Guys we haven’t seen much pitching, so you can’t wait. It’s early in the season. You might not see as much breaking balls as you think, so you need to be ready for that fast ball,’” said Elizondo.
In game one, Ean McPherson pitched the whole game and defeated Gonzales 8-1. McPherson accounted for three strikeouts and allowed six hits.
After taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning, RFHS brought in four more runs in the fourth inning to take an 8-0 lead. Gonzales scored their lone run of the game in the fifth inning.
Elizondo said McPherson pitched a great game, but said his guys started off a little slow at the plate.
“We struggled in the first game against Gonzales hitting and putting the ball in play,” said Elizondo. “But I told them to attack, go have fun, swing the bat, and we rolled from there.”
RFHS defeated the Victoria West Warriors 6-4 in game two. The Warriors were the only team to outhit the Pirates 9 to 6. However, good pitching by Luke Muirhead and Ace Seibert helped keep the Warriors at bay and prevented a sixth inning rally.
“Luke was dominant, he was really good,” said Elizondo. “He started really well, kept them off balance, and I think they didn’t adjust until the second time around in their batting order. By then we were in the fourth inning and we needed to pull him because he got to his 65.”
Muirhead allowed one run, but struck out three. Seibert followed Muirhead and got the save.
Again RFHS took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and followed up with another three runs in the third inning to get the Pirates to six runs.
Muirhead went 2-3 at bat with one RBI and ran in two scores. Carsen Flores and Devan Phillips also went 2-3 at the plate.
In game three, a strong start at the plate led to a 7-1 lead in the first inning and a 13-5 win over Cuero. In total, the Pirates accounted for 12 hits.
“The Cuero game, in my opinion, we just came out swinging,” Elizondo said. “Their third baseman made four errors I think in that first inning, but we were aggressive and we had the lead.”
Elizondo said Flores, who started at pitcher, got off to a shaky start, but settled in as the game went on.
“He was a little flat in the beginning and he knew it. He knew he was a little flat, but he came through and settled down,” Elizondo said.
John Chupe had a strong outing at the plate going 3-3. Seibert went 2-4 with 2 RBI’s. Phillips went 1-3 but made it count, bringing in three runs.
In game four, RFHS took an 8-1 lead after two innings and never looked back, defeating Yoakum 11-1.
Javier Vela started the game and pitched three innings, striking out two. Cole Chapman finished out the remaining two innings and struck out one.
The Pirates accounted for eight hits and ended the Cuero tourney on a high note. Muirhead, Flores, and Seibert each brought in two runs. Chupe went 2-3 and brought in one.
RFHS opened district play Tuesday, March 2 at home against Calhoun.