In a pitchers’ duel where scoring opportunities were few, it was Fort Bend Elkins that made the most of its chances, as the Knights shut out the Santa Fe Indians, 3-0, on Tuesday afternoon.
“You’re not going to get many (opportunities), so you have to take advantage of the ones that you do get,” Santa Fe head coach Ronnie Wulf said.
Elkins scraped together a run in the top of the first inning, and added two more insurance runs in the top of the fifth.
In the top of the first, catcher Armando Soto came through with a two-out RBI single shot into right field, plating designated hitter Will Copes, who singled and advanced to second base on a ball misplayed at first base.
With their ace pitcher Adrian Carroll dealing on the mound, the Knights padded their lead with a one-out two-run single lined up the middle by right fielder Michael Granson, scoring Copes (leadoff single) and first baseman Dorian Resendez (no-out walk).
The Indians had at least one runner reach base in every inning except the bottom of the first, but were often unable to execute their trademark small-ball tactics. Santa Fe’s best chance to score came in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs.
Elkins third baseman Camden Kelly dropped a can-of-corn pop-up in the infield, allowing right fielder Jacob Long to reach base. Another fielding miscue, this time a passed ball on a swinging third strike, saw shortstop Cayge Abbott race safely to first base. The next pitch from Carroll plunked left fielder Justin Kirsch to load the bases. But, Carroll induced a pop-up to the catcher to escape the trouble unscathed.
“We had opportunities,” Wulf said. “We didn’t get a bunt down in one inning, and had other opportunities when we did get the bunt down, but just didn’t get the hit.”
Santa Fe also didn’t test Elkins’ defense to the fullest extent, as nine of the team’s outs came by way of fly outs, as opposed to six outs coming on balls hit on the ground.
Carroll picked up the complete-game shutout win, surrendering just two hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Santa Fe’s lone base hits, both singles, came from Kirsch and first baseman Blaine Nelson.
Indians starting pitcher Rome Shubert picked up the tough-luck loss, throwing 5 2/3 innings and giving up three runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
The Indians (0-1 in District 23-5A) will look to rebound against rival Ball High (1-0) at 1 p.m. Thursday in Galveston.