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Impenetrable Pitching Staff Carries Douglass to First-Ever State Title

Douglass players congratulate Matthew Wallace (second from right) after Wallace is named the Most Valuable Player of the Class A state title game Thursday in Round Rock. Wallace drove in a run and allowed three hits on the mound in a 10-0 run rule win for the Indians against Flatonia. (Travis Harsch, ETSN.fm)

ROUND ROCK — Thirty-four runs. That’s it. That’s how many runs Douglass’ opponents combine to score in 34 games this season.

Taking it a step further, Douglass pitchers surrendered only six runs during playoffs and none over the Indians’ final six games.

No matter how you slice it, that’s domination. The kind of superiority that wins state championships, like the one Douglass captured Thursday with its 10-0 shutout of Flatonia in the Class A title game.

“That’s a testament to those guys’ work; they work their tails off to put themselves in this situation,” said Douglass coach Eugene Lafitte. “It’s not just the pitching. The defense for us has just played unbelievably throughout the playoffs. We bend and we don’t break; put the pressure on them, make the routine play and win championships.”

During the playoffs, it’s been the 1-2 duo of sophomore Grant Holland and senior Matthew Wallace that has done all the damage. But don’t let that fool you. There are others.

“We have seven pitchers that we can throw up there; we’ve just been throwing me and Grant (Holland in the playoffs),” said Wallace, whose five shutout innings helped earn him championship game MVP honors. “We just have to do our job and throw strikes, and that’s what we’ve been doing. It worked out for us.”

But the tandem of Wallace and Holland, who authored an eight-hit shutout in Wednesday’s semifinal defeat of Dawson, was all Douglass ever needed in the postseason.

“Matthew, our senior, he’s a stud and Grant’s our up-and-comer,” said Douglass senior first baseman Bryce Westbrook. “He’s a sophomore and he’s cool and collected — two different personalities on the mound but we’ve learned how to work with each other.”

And while the goal is to simply outscore the other team, what Douglass has done will be difficult to duplicate in the future.

“We just want W’s, but for that to happen and continue today, it was icing on the cake for us,” Westbrook said.

Douglass’ Matthew Wallace fires off a pitch during the Indians’ 9-0 win over Carlisle in Game 2 of their Class A Region III championship series May 31 in Lufkin. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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