Lindale’s Sam Sitton Throws Complete-Game Shutout Against No. 2 Whitehouse in 2-0 Win
LINDALE -- You had to wonder how long Sam Sitton was going to last after a 12-pitch battle against Whitehouse's Peyton Conser to record the final out of a 26-pitch first inning.
Turned out Linedale's Sitton had enough to go the distance for a 2-0 win against the previously undefeated Whitehouse Wildcats in both schools' District 16-4A opener.
"It's intimidating, I'm not going to lie, going up against somebody undefeated," Sitton said. "We have four losses. It's tough, but our guys believed. That's what it is. We won the game."
Sitton threw 108 pitches for the complete-game shutout. He allowed just three hits, a walk and a hit batter.
He made a more than formidable matchup for Whitehouse's Patrick Mahomes, who threw nine strikeouts and allowed just five total base runners on the other end of the game. The two averaged out for just about 15.5 pitches per inning.
"Sam wanted the ball against them and challenged them," Lindale head coach Russell Bowker said. "I knew with him on the mound we've got an opportunity to beat anybody. He can play with anybody in the state, including them. They're an outstanding team. We've got to face them again. Sam battled, struggled a little bit early with his pitch count early, but I knew he would battle back."
Tuesday's game turned against Whitehouse (14-1, 0-1) shortly after Mahomes made a nice barehanded grab on a soft comebacker from Lindale's Jon French to close the bottom third.
The two teams exchanged quick frames before Lindale (10-4-2, 1-0) got on the board in the bottom fifth. Mahomes gave up a two-out walk to Tate Coomer and then accidentally hit Bryce Deupree before walking Micah Walker to load the bases.
French got a measure of revenge when he ran out an errant throw to first base. Coomer and Dupree crossed the plate while Walker was tagged out at home for what would have been the third run on the play.
Whitehouse got aggressive in the top sixth as it sensed Sitton wasn't going to fold.
Mahomes walked with two outs. He then stole second and third base on the next at-bat, but Sitton's third and final strikeout of the night stranded Mahomes at third for the second time in the game.
The Wildcats didn't get any closer.
"We made a mistake defensively, (Sitton) pitched well and we had a poor approach," Whitehouse head coach Derrick Jenkins said. "We've kind of had an approach all year where we don't want to take walks, don't take pitches and swinging the bat at bad pitches. When you do those things against a guy who throws strikes and gets in the zone, he's going to get you out."
Sitton also recorded a double in a 1-for-3 night at the plate.
The Lindale-Whitehouse series draws a lot of fans from both sides. Eagle fans stayed long after the game was over to congratulate their players on the big win.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, received a long talk. Tuesday's game was the first that counts toward making the playoffs.
"We walked in and, the one that mattered, we walked in like it was another game," Jenkins said. "This isn't another game. Everybody is going to give you their best. If you walk in every day, you don't give your best and you're not ready for everybody, this is what happens. Hopefully this one right here will turn their heads and put in a different approach at practice tomorrow."
It's Lindale that owns a share of first in the district behind a strong pitching performance from Sitton and one major break.
The Eagles will play John Tyler at 7 p.m. Friday in Tyler. Whitehouse will simultaneously host Jacksonville .
"We're going to keep playing with it," Sitton said. "We're going to keep rolling. That's all we've got to do. It feels good."
Lindale 2, Whitehouse 0
Whitehouse 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Lindale 000 020 0 — 2 2 1
Pitchers and Catchers
- Whitehouse: Patrick Mahomes and Rex Swinney.
- Lindale: Sam Sitton and Tate Coomer.
WP — Sitton.
LP — Mahomes.
- Lindale: Sitton.