To some, there’s nothing better than afternoon baseball.
Probably not for the folks at O.D. Wyatt High School, however.
On a sunny afternoon at Tidwell Field, the Granbury Pirates scored, and scored, and scored…
And when all of the scoring was done – and there was plenty – the Pirates came away with a 30-4 victory in a District 7-4A contest.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Granbury coach Brad Eppler.
“You talk about coming out of the gate.”
The Pirates (8-6-3, 2-0 in 7-4A) scored 21 runs in the first inning. Almost every player in the lineup batted three times.
Eppler even began pinch-hitting in the first inning.
Wyatt committed seven errors in the opening frame, which led to 13 unearned runs.
“We were just doing our jobs and playing baseball,” said Landon Gray, who hit for the cycle (single, double, triple, home run).
“I’ve played since I was 5 or 6 and I’ve never run-ruled a team like that,” said Nathan Hickey, who entered the game batting .500 and went 1-for-2.
The game was called on the 10-run rule after Wyatt batted in the top of the fifth.
Things got so out of hand that Eppler was instructing players to stop at second and not score unless there was no other option. They swung at every pitch.
“It was on or out in three (pitches),” Eppler said. “There’s very few things you can do to slow that game down.”
Eppler even had the scoreboard turned off once the Pirates built their advantage to 28-1.
“They know the score. We were just trying to show a little class,” he said.
Payton Rhodes (1-1) went the distance on the mound for the Pirates. He also helped himself at the plate by going 4-for-4 with three doubles, a walk and five runs batted in.
In all, the Pirates collected 23 hits. Of them, nine were for extra bases.
Of his and the team’s first home run of the season, Gray said, “I was just going up there trying to square the ball up, but that one kind of lifted and kept going.”
Eppler added, “And that was with having to swing at pitches he didn’t want to.”
The Pirates are finished with tournament play and with a couple of exceptions are into the twice-a-week district format now. Rhodes and Nathan Hickey will likely be their two starting pitchers throughout league play, followed by Landon Weatherly.
“Nathan will start against anybody who has a chance to beat us,” said Eppler.
The Pirates played a tough predistrict slate. While there will likely be other blowouts in district, Eppler noted perennial powers Arlington Heights and Aledo are also in the league.
He added that South Hills, coached by Steve Jiminez, could play spoiler.
“He was with Western Hills in their heyday when they won state (2001),” said Eppler.
As for his own team, Eppler said maintaining focus is still a priority, but they are fine position-wise.
“I think we figured out who belongs where in the lineup, where defensively,” he said. “We got a lot figured out (in predistrict).”
O.D. Wyatt 010 21 – 4 5 7
Granbury (21)71 1x – 30 23 2
Granbury pitching – Payton Rhodes (2-0) 5 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, 1 hit batter, 4 strikeouts.
Granbury hitting – Landon Gray 4-4, double, triple, home run, walk, hit by pitch, 5 RBIs; Rhodes 4-4, 3 doubles, walk, 5 RBIs; Landon Weatherly 2-3, RBI; Ryan Suitt 2-3, 2 doubles, RBI; Matthew Hickey 2-3, walk, hit by pitch, 3 RBIs; Parker Scanlan 2-2, double, 3 RBIs; Nathan Hickey 1-2, walk, 2 RBIs; B.B. King 1-3; Josh Yarbrough 1-3; Tristen Fallen 1-3, hit by pitch, RBI; Kasey Hubbard 1-3, RBI; Dylan Rowland 1-1, hit by pitch, RBI; Caden Pickett 1-3, RBI.
Granbury record – 8-6-3 overall, 2-0 in 7-4A.