Longview’s Will Bradshaw Goes the Distance in Lobos’ 9-1 District-Opening Win Against Mesquite
LONGVIEW -- It was a beautiful night for baseball at Longview's Lobo Field, and the Lobos made the most of Tuesday with a 9-1 win against Mesquite to open District 12-5A play.
The players seemed to be in good spirits cleaning the dugouts and placing heavy tarps over the mound and home plate while the Skeeters set a new record for time it took to to get back on Interstate 20.
Head coach Bernie Martinez lobbed underhand balls to his little son who can already wield his father's full-size wooden bat. Former Lobo players home for college spring break rejoined their old teammates on the field for a game of catch under the lights. A few family members waited to around the field's perimeter to give the team their congratulations.
The only thing missing from this happy scene was the star of the show. Starting pitcher Will Bradshaw was getting some leg work in along the outfield warning track after throwing a complete-game on 109 pitches.
"You start to get a dead feeling in your tricep and in your shoulder," Bradshaw said after the long start and workout. "It just starts to get dead and you have to get more locked in and work even more on hitting your spots."
Bradshaw, a junior, ended the game with a three-pitch strikeout to Mesquite's Mannie Martinez. Just after potentially ending the game on a strikeout swinging on a pitch that bounced on the plate and allowed Tyler Gaines to extend the game for one more minute.
The at-bat before also ended with a strikeout.
Bradshaw had 11 strikeouts in seven innings. The only blemishes were two walks before the fifth inning that had started with 0-2 counts, three hits sprayed through seven innings that proved harmless and a home run by Gaines in the fifth inning to left field.
"I was expecting to get one of those nights," Bernie Martinez said. "I thought his last outing was really good. Would love to get rid of some of those freebies early in the game with those 0-2 walks. Those walks tend to come up and bite him in close games. Hopefully, as he develops, he eliminates those.
"It's kind of scary. He'll have better outings. If he eliminates those early walks, he's going to be pretty tough."
Bradshaw returned to the dugout after the sixth inning in a 3-1 game. It was 9-1 in the Lobos' favor before he closed out the game.
Dez Chumley began to open the game up in the second inning with an RBI triple after Bradshaw got on base thanks to an error. Chumley was batted in immediately by catcher Austin Attaway.
Luke Armstrong reached base on an error in the fifth inning, Jared Pauley advanced him on a base hit and Jordan Wright scored Armstrong by reaching first safely on another Mesquite error to up the lead.
The Skeeters committed four errors Tuesday.
Mesquite got back into the game briefly with Gaines' home run, gave up a run in the bottom fifth and then six more in the bottom sixth.
Longview's Luke Taylor got the big inning going with a leadoff double.
Bradshaw, who went 1-for-3 at the plate, advanced Taylor to third. Chumley then removed all doubt his batting slump was over with a slicer through the right gap for his second RBI of the game.
"I just relaxed and tried to do what I've always been taught," Chumley said. "I'm feeling pretty good. It's always good to have your first district win under your belt. Now we just have to keep it rolling."
Longview batted around in the sixth and had 11 hitters face three Mesquite pitchers in the frame.
District 12-5A is a tough one.
The Lobos will be off Friday and travel to Heath next week to face a very good Rockwall-Heath program. Rockwall, Tyler Lee, Mesquite Horn and North Mesquite also are solid teams as is Mesquite itself.
"When we run into Heath and Rockwall, we're going to get into a fight with them," Bernie Martinez said. "It's going to be a battle. Tyler Lee, David (Howard) does a great job and they're going to be really well-coached. Those are the three that if we want to meet our goals, and if we play well, I want to fight for that district championship."
Longview 9, Mesquite 1
Mesquite 000 010 0 — 1 4 4
Longview 020 016 x — 9 11 1
Pitchers and Catchers
- Mesquite: Daniel Ferra, Tyler Gaines (6), Grant French (6) and Julian Rios
- Longview: Will Bradshaw and Austin Attaway.
WP — Bradshaw.
LP — Ferra.
- Longview: Luke Taylor.
- Longview: Dez Chumley.
- Mesquite: Gaines.