Richardson Senior Caleb Combs continued his stellar season with a one-hit shutout on Wednesday night as the Eagles inched closer to the playoffs with an 11-0 hammering of Berkner in the Rams’ own backyard.
The game was billed as “the Tovar Tussle”, pitting brothers Mike and J.P. Tovar coaching against each other. It showed the promise of an edgy encounter, with the Eagles clawing for the final District 9-6A playoff spot and Berkner relishing the opportunity to play the spoiler and get the upper hand on personal rivalries. It didn’t work out that way.
All photos courtesy of Michael Mulvey and Michael Mulvey Studios.
Combs dominated yet another district opponent. He threw 14 strikeouts, only 3 walks, and 63% of his pitches for strikes. Berkner hitters did not manage to get single ball out of the infield until the last inning.
The right hander’s district performance on the mound has become the stuff of which memories are made. He has allowed only one earned run and 9 hits over 26.4 innings pitching against district opponents. He has struck out 51 opponents on his way to a 4-0 record. It is not difficult to understand how Richardson’s resurgence from last place to playoff contention has corresponded to his recovery from injury and return to full fitness.
Junior James Monroe steals another base against Berkner.
The other story of the Eagles’ rise has been consistent production at the plate, which continued against the Rams. Berkner were buried under and avalanche of hitting and speed as Richardson bats lit up the night air, led by Combs, James Monroe and Caden Kirk. Kirk was especially outstanding, going 3-3 with 4 RBIs. Monroe went 2-4, had an RBI himself and stole 2 bases.
Caden Kirk hammers home two of his 4 RBIs against Berkner.
By the end of the night, 9 of 10 Eagles that went to the plate came away with base hits. Three doubles, three stolen bases, and three Berkner errors added to the rout.
Senior Grant Dodgen beats out another base hit.
Berkner’s only highights were a 4 strikeout performance from reliever Jack Rouse and a last gasp no-hitter spoiling double in the bottom half of the 7th inning.
The Rams travel to The Nest on Friday night in search of redemption and relief from a losing streak that now measures 4 games.