The Huffman Falcons picked up on where they left off last Saturday when they defeated Center 13-4 to earn a berth in the regional finals. On Wednesday night, Huffman opened the regional finals with a 13-2 win over the West Orange Stark Mustangs (24-10).
The Falcons (24-4) scored in their first three at bats building a 5-0 lead for starter Jake Harrison. Shortstop Cody Gaitan drew a one out walk and Huffman was off and running. Consecutive walks to Richard Marches and Cody Stone loaded the bases before West Orange starter Grant Anderson hit Justin Waltmon to bring home Gaitan. With just one hit and that of the infield variety by Dylan Lorfing, the Falcons built a 3-0 lead taking advantage of Anderson’s wildness. The Mustangs right-hander would not last through the fifth giving up seven runs in four and two-thirds innings of work.
Huffman tallied solo runs in the second and third. Gaitan took Anderson deep with one out in the second making it 4-0. In the third, another walk, Anderson’s fifth of the game, a single by Stephen Keller and an error led to another Huffman score.
The Falcons added two more in the fifth on rbi hits by James Tutor and Jake Bumgarner and another in the sixth on a double, an error and a wild pitch before exploding for five in the seventh.
Once again, the Falcons took advantage of West Orange mistakes. With one out, reliever Payton Robertson hit Bumgarner. Robertson would also hit Stone later in the inning and both would come around to score. The big blow of the night came off the bat of Keller when he ripped a bases clearing double to give Huffman a 13-2 lead.
Keller reached on all four plate appearances with three rbi’s to lead the Falcons offensive attack.
Meanwhile, Harrison was stifling the Mustangs on four hits. The Huffman starter struck out eight in the complete game performance.
“It was great to get that first win,” said a happy Tom DeBerry. The Huffman head coach went on to stress that the work isn’t over yet. “There still a lot of baseball to be played. We’ve still got to win another game to advance.”
The Falcons will earn a berth in the state tournament next weekend in Austin with a win over West Orange on Wednesday night. First pitch is slated for 5:00p.m. CDT at Lamar University in Beaumont.
Written by: Lou Roesch