|Seniors Broumley and Massey having strong senior seasons|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
April 7, 2006 - A battle throughout the pre-district schedule between seniors Jake Broumley and Chance Massey for the No. 2 starter ultimately went down to the first Tuesday night start of the district season - as Broumley was handed the reigns against Mount Pleasant.
"Coach (Jerrod) Hammack is a good coach and he is going to do whatever it takes to win, and I want to do what he tells me to do and play my role to do whatever it takes to win," said two-year varsity letterman Broumley. "I did want to be the No. 2 starter because I like to start."
Massey didn't mind making the change and has had one of his best seasons as a Wildcats pitcher at 4-1 on the season with a 1.86 ERA in 30 1/3 innings with 26 strikeouts, six walks and eight earned runs.
Massey, the son of Shawn Massey and Michelle Tate, is a two-year varsity letterman and has been surprised at his performance this year.
"I thought I have done pretty good and I have picked it up this year," he said. "I haven't walked many all season but I could work on my velocity."
"I expect us to have the same rotation for the rest of the year and I don't know what my role might be whether it be closing or whatever, but I will be there and coach knows that and I plan on going 10-0 in district. I want to go a little farther in the playoffs than last year and I think that we can do that."
Broumley agrees with the playoff run and said the pitching rotation is strong this year.
"We have five solid pitchers with Alex, Blake, myself, Jayden and Chance, and we have done a great job pitching this year," said Broumley, the son of Wes and Beverly Broumley. "If Alex (Aguilar) can't come back against North Lamar, then we should be fine and will get the job done. We expect to get six wins the rest of the way and anything less than that for me and my teammates would be disappointing."
Aguilar injured his bicep in the first inning of last Friday's game at Greenville - putting Massey in unfamiliar territory.
"Most of the time I was thinking that I was going to be in on Tuesday and I had that mind set until coach said, 'Warmup on the mound,' " Massey said. "When I got out there, I was nervous and I had two outs and one strikeout and I walked the first batter I think. When I got through that inning, I was good for the rest of the night."
With their key district win Tuesday night against Texas High - a game in which Broumley picked up his fourth victory of the season - he said the game was a big game for a district championship berth.
"That was a really good win for us because we got robbed at their place because of the rain, and they beat us last year here, and we wanted to win because that was going to put us in first place," he said. "A lot of people had Paris to win district and us to finish third, and we wanted to show people that we can play baseball and that is what we do."
After walking 21 batters during the pre-district schedule, Broumley has found his control during the district campaign walking only three batters in two starts.
He said the key was putting in extra time with catcher Scott Stewart to find his spots.
"I stayed after practice and worked a lot more in practice rather than on speed and velocity but trying to hit my spots and knowing walks lead to runs and bad things happen when you give people free bases," he said.
With Sulphur Springs on a six-game winning streak dating back to a 2-1 loss to the Lindale Eagles in Lindale, Broumley said they knew what needed to be done to turn that around.
"After that Lindale loss, we all realized that it wasn't the end of the world. We came to practice and have been working hard and we have wanted to win and keep winning. We want to go 10-0 in district," said Broumley. "We have been taking extra ground balls and fly balls and hitting a lot even on Saturdays and Sundays."
With 13 seniors on the team this year, both players know this season could be one of the most memorable for them.
"We have all played together since we were like 12-years-old and having all seniors is good on this team," Massey said. "I would like to go at least three rounds deep, but we will just have to wait and see what happens."
"It is really good because all of these seniors have played together since the fourth or fifth grade and no one wants to go down lower than their expectations and we want to make this a memorable year," added Broumley. "My class has won district our freshman and sophomore year and finished second last year, so we want to keep it going this year."