Howe 12, Whitewright 5

Howe baseball fans got to see a gritty pitching performance on March 17 as the Bulldogs bested Whitewright, 12-5 at the Tigers home field.

The win, Howe’s third against no losses, gives them sole possession of first place in the District 10-3A baseball race.

Senior center fielder Brennan Ross had four hits in four trips to the plate, leading a Bulldog offense that produced three four-run innings to get the win.

Howe wasted an excellent scoring opportunity in the first as a Ross single opened the game. After two outs, senior Matt Griffin reached on catcher’s interference and senior Tyler Grisham was walked to load the bases. Whitewright pitcher Payton Jones worked out of the jam, getting the third out to spoil the Howe attack.

A Peyton Reagan to Bryce Krantz to Griffin double-play got the Bulldogs out of the bottom of the inning.

A walk, hit batter and a Whitewright error loaded the bases for Howe before a single by Ross started the scoring. Jaden Matthews and Tanner Hartsfield had reached ahead of Ross, and a Tiger misplay on the Ross hit brought home three.

Ross scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Peyton Reagan, getting the Dog’s off to a 4-0 advantage.

Whitewright cut that lead in half in their half of the second, but the Bulldog bats were just getting started.

With two out in the third, three consecutive singles by Hartsfield, Matthews and Ross brought home three more runs. Ross scored on a single to left by Reagan and Dyson Dillard, who had reached on a Whitewright error, came in on a wild pitch. Howe put up another four-spot in the fourth, the big hit, a three-RBI double by Griffin.

Martthews, Ross and Dillard all scored on the Griffin bash.

“I was really proud of the way the guys played tonight, they came up with timely hits all during the game,” Howe coach Heath Grant said. “We did some really good situational hitting, especially in the fourth when we took advantage of some of their mistakes.”

Pitching took the spotlight later as Howe protected its big lead. Hartsfield worked out of bases loaded situations in the second and fourth innings, giving up just one run while getting those six outs.

Griffin came on in relief in the six, and gave up just one run with the bases loaded and one out in that inning. He fanned two in the seventh to preserve the win.

Ross came up in the top of the sixth for Howe, and drew a semi-intentional walk. That happens a lot to 4-for-4 guys.

Sophomore Mason Riggs, who seemingly fills in where needed, turned in a nice job behind the plate.

After hosting Farmersville on March 21, the Bulldogs travel south on Highway Five to meet the Panthers on March 24.