Saltillo drops first match of series against Price Carlisle

By JIMMY ROGERS | News-Telegram Correspondent

May 11, 2007 - MARSHALL - A combined no hitter for the Price Carlisle Indian pitching staff along with hot hitting beginning in the third inning left the Saltillo Lions looking for two wins Saturday to keep their Class A Region III play off hopes alive.

The Indians ten run ruled Saltillo, 10-0, in six innings Thursday night at Maverick Field in Marshall. A last minute change moved the game from Pine Tree High School in Longview to Marshall.

Looking back on the loss, Lion Coach T. G. Sandifer said, “I talked to a couple of coaches about Price Carlisle but they did not do them justice. They are good. They made plays. We had a number of errors. The plays we didn't make, they did and they made them easily. I think they had one error but almost made the play because of their hustle.”

The only error for Price-Carlisle came in the fifth inning when Kenneth Poor hit a solid grounder to the second baseman who muffed the stop and his hurried lob to first fell errant as Poor and Indian first baseman Josh Clark collided at the bag.

The Lions managed only three base runners for the night and only one ball hit out of the infield. Poor was hit by a pitch as he led off the third inning but two strike outs and a grounder to first left him stranded. With two strikeouts to start the fifth, Poor reached first on the error and Michael Groenwold drew a walk. Carlisle pitcher Cannon Coleman ended the inning by striking out Cody Paris.

Coleman faced 18 batters in his five-inning night. He struck out eight and walked only two. Sergio Garza relieved Coleman striking out one of the three batters he faced in the sixth.

�A combined no hitter, that kills me,� said Coach Sandifer. �That's the fastest pitcher (Coleman) we have seen all year. Just a sophomore, he throws harder than anyone we have faced. He didn't have overpowering stuff; he just threw the ball well. Good pitching beats good teams all the time.�

Reflecting on his teams lack of a hit, Sandifer said, “We held them the first two innings. They had runners on second and third both innings and they didn't score a run. They came through with a clutch hit in the third. When they scored, we lost focus and they took advantage of it. They did what I hoped we would be able to do. We just didn't get our bats going.”

Price Carlisle scored five runs in the third inning. The first two batters rapped their singles past third base to put runners on first and third. A hit batsman and the bases were loaded with no outs. A Clark single sent one runner home and an Alvin Moody single sent two home. Clark scored on a long out to centerfield and an overthrow at third scored one.

The Indians added two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two runs in the sixth came with two out when Lion pitcher Chase Carr walked in the winning runs.

Carr faced 36 batters during his six-inning effort. He gave up eight hits, struck out six and walked six.

�I think we were a little scared coming out here,� Sandifer said. �These kids didn't know what to expect. They have never been here before and have not played on a field like this before-big field, big lights, new atmosphere.�

Lion pitcher Travis Thompson will draw the start Saturday when the Lions and Indians match up for game two at Pine Tree in Longview according to Coach Sandifer. He noted that the Indians have trouble with off speed pitches. “Our defense is stronger when Travis is pitching. I like our chances with our defense. If we hit the ball, we will play right with them. They are in the top 10 teams in the state but if we hit the ball, we are right with them.”

If needed a third game will immediately follow game two.

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