Pirates dominant in 7-4A

It’s one thing to be 3-0 and another to be 3-0 and dominant.

The Granbury Pirates are the latter in the District 7-4A baseball race.

In their three district wins, the Pirates have outscored their opponents 43-4. This includes a 30-4 walloping of O.D. Wyatt in Granbury’s lone home league contest.

That was sandwiched between a pair of dominating road shutouts, 7-0 over South Hills and 6-0 over Western Hills.

The common denominator in both of those games? Pitcher Nathan Hickey.

Hickey’s latest gem was a one-hitter as he shut down Western Hills.

In fact, the lone hit for the Cougars came on Hickey’s first pitch. After that he struck out 11 and walked four.

Only one Western Hills runner reached third base in the game – and that was the result of an errant pickoff throw.

“He dominated, and without his best stuff,” said Granbury coach Brad Eppler.

“He had a 2-to-1 strike-to-ball ratio, and he’s usually 4-to-1. He usually throws about 95 pitches, and he threw 117.”

Still, it was enough for Hickey to move to 3-0 with a save this season. He’s following up last season’s dominance (99 strikeouts, third best in team history) with more.

In 27.2 innings, Hickey has 44 strikeouts, including 24 in two district games. In district he’s surrendered four hits.

His earned run average this season is 0.76.

But as dominant as he’s been on the mound this season, Hickey’s been equally strong at the plate. His 3-for-4 performance against Western Hills raised his batting average to .576.

Landon Gray continued his torrid hitting of late by going 2-for-2 with a double, triple and walk. Gray, hitting .511 for the season, is 9-for-12 in his past four games.

Five of Gray’s past six hits have been for extra bases. For the season, Gray has .617 on-base percentage and .787 slugging percentage.

As a team the Pirates are batting .335.

The Pirates were tied for the district lead going into last night’s game at home against Southwest. Granbury and Heights were 3-0, with Aledo right behind at 2-1.

The Pirates visit Aledo and Heights next week.

“We’re on the books to beat certain people, and we need to do that,” said Eppler.

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Granbury 202 010 1 – 6 10 3

W. Hills 000 000 0 – 0 1 3

Granbury pitching – Nathan Hickey (W, 3-0) 7 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts.

Granbury hitting – N. Hickey 3-4, 2 RBIs, stolen base; Landon Weatherly 2-4, double; Landon Gray 2-2, double, triple, walk, RBI; Josh Yarbrough 1-3, sacrifice; Payton Rhodes 1-4; Kasey Hubbard 1-3, stolen base.

Granbury record – 9-6-3, 3-0 in 7-4A.