The Holtville baseball team added four wins to its season total over spring break with some big performances during a tournament in Oxford last week. The Bulldogs are 15-4 and have now won 10 of their last 12 games as they look to build momentum into the final area series.
“I was very pleased with how we played up there,” Holtville coach Torey Baird said. “It was all-around very good baseball. We had great defense and put together some really good at bats. When you do those things, you’ll always have a chance to win.”
The Bulldogs got the week started with another strong pitching performance by Chappelle Washam. He has started four games this season and has yet to allow an earned run across 22 innings.
Washam brought his A-game again against Jacksonville, allowing just four hits in a 12-0 win. Hunter Martin and Drew Nobles each had two hits and three RBIs to provide the run support.
Nobles took the mound against Hickman during the second game of the tournament. He pitched his third complete game of the season, striking out nine batters in another shutout victory.
Throughout the week, Holtville threw nine different players and the team had an ERA of 1.69 in 29 innings pitched. Nobles has been the ace for the Bulldogs all season but finding that depth will be key for the team’s postseason run.
“That showed us we have guys who can get thrown into the fire and still get it done for us,” Baird said. “Everyone that we threw did well for the most part and did what they were asked to do.”
While the pitching was key for Holtville, the offense did not slack off either. The Bulldogs averaged nine runs per game during the five-game tournament, including scoring in double figures three times.
“You want to continue to have those quality at bats,” Baird said. “You have to be in the box with a plan of attack. If we keep that mindset, good things are going to happen.”
Nobles led the team with nine RBIs while Martin added seven of his own. The Bulldogs had 10 different players knock in a run and six different players bat above .300 during the tournament.
The heart of the order’s success could not have happened without the production of Mikey Forney, the team’s leadoff hitter. He led the team with nine hits and scored nine runs to up his team-high total to 30 for the season.
“He’s been the most consistent guy we’ve had at the plate,” Baird said. “He’s such a tough out for the opponent. He hits the ball well to all fields. That kind of stuff is special to see from a freshman.”
Holtville returned to the field this week with a series against cross-county rivals Elmore County. The Bulldogs currently sit on top of the Class 4A Area 5 standings and could grab a tight hold on a playoff spot with two wins this week.
“When it comes to area play, everything is more high pressure,” Baird said. “It’s a big deal and everyone knows that but you have to have the mindset that it’s just like any other game. You can’t get caught up in the moment.”