HALLSVILLE -- Starting pitcher Coby Weaver had a no-hitter through the fifth inning stretch, struck out nine batters in total and allowed just four walks in Hallsville's 8-1 win Tuesday against Marshall.

The most impressive thing in the above-average performance through the first batter of the sixth inning? He did it on three days of rest.

'He's thrown for me for four years," Bobcats head coach Scott Mitchell said. "I expected that from him. I really did. He threw Saturday, we had to give him some work with all the rain and stuff. We were really conscious of his pitch count and his location. It was hot. We haven't had humidity and heat like we did today, so he got a little tired in the fifth. But he gave us maximum effort."

Jacob Walker, who led Hallsville's night at the plate off with a double, comes home for a first inning run which gave the Bobcats a 2-0 lead. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

It wasn't his relief appearance in last season's state tournament, but the stage was big in the District 15-5A opener for both teams.

Marshall (7-2) entered the game as a one-loss team. The Bobcats, meanwhile, felt obliged to live up to their No. 4 ranking in the TXHighSchoolBaseball.com Class 5A state poll.

And playoff implications were on the line for the very first time this season.

Weaver, a left-handed Dallas Baptist commitment, helped the Bobcats (8-2) take the wind out of the Mavericks' sails early.

He opened league play by retiring the top of Marshall's order. Hallsville returned fire by sending eight batters to the plate in the bottom first and built up a 3-0 lead.

By the time Weaver began to bend -- his lone hit given up came in the fifth inning -- the Bobcats were playing with house money. They had a 4-0 lead.

"I was glad that I was pitching well up to that point, but I wasn't really trying to throw a no-hitter," Weaver said. "It never felt like I was going to get it. I wasn't worried about it. I was just worried about keeping us in the game."

Run support was certainly there.

Leadoff hitter and center fielder Jacob Walker took the game's second pitch to left field for the first of his two doubles. He was batted in two pitches later by second baseman Ty Meissner. Three-hole hitter Austin Blakeley hit an RBI double on the game's sixth pitch.

If it had not been for an outstanding diving catch from Marshall center fielder Trel Patton on a long blooper in the fourth at-bat and a throw to second base for a double play Hallsville never saw coming, it could have been a lot worse.

Nevertheless, the Bobcats added another first inning run when designated hitter Eric Denby batted in Jack Underwood to cap a string of three hits after Patton's play.

"We're stronger than ever offensively," Walker said. "We have hitters, one through nine. That's the big thing. If you want to make it back to state, you've got to hit the ball and we work on that a lot."

Marshall's Jesse Andrews reaches third base on a Hallsville error in the fifth inning. He would score the Mavericks lone run of the evening on the next at-bat. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

Weaver hummed for four innings despite two defensive errors. He stranded three runners, only one of which he himself put on base with a walk.

Walker doubled in the second inning and scored on a wild pitch for a four-run cushion.

The Bobcats' pitcher entered the top fifth with 73 throws.

Weaver gave up a base runner on a strikeout swinging ball in the dirt against Marshall right fielder Jesse Andrews. The outfielder got home with a third Hallsville error and a passed ball. Luke Johnson broke up the no-hitter with an RBI single, but the Bobcats responded with a double play and a strikeout.

An Underwood double in the bottom fifth batted in Blakeley. Underwood scored from third base on a passed ball for a 6-1 lead.

Weaver exited the game after a four-pitch leadoff walk in the sixth inning. His last throw put him at the century mark.

Colton Brasher came in and relieved Weaver with two perfect innings.

Walker and pinch runner Zach Cochran scored two final runs in the bottom sixth.

"All my kids were very aware that Marshall was 7-1 and coming in high," Mitchell said. "I had seen them play one time before and I knew they never quit and scrapped. My kids saw that tonight. They're going to be good."

The Mavericks will try to bounce back at home Friday against Pine Tree, a team that lost a 9-8 heartbreaker against Longview in its own opening district game.

Hallsville is supposed to visit Texas High on Friday, but there are concerns that will be yet another contest washed out and rescheduled by what has been a very rainy campaign.

"These guys are excited about starting district," Mitchell said. "They're excited about just playing. We only played nine games ourselves coming into tonight. We're excited about getting on the field."

Pinch runner Zach Cochran slides into home against Marshall relief pitcher DeAndre McAfee for the game's final run. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

 

No. 4 Hallsville 8, Marshall 1

District 15-5A

At The Field of Dreams, Hallsville

Marshall     000    010    0    --    1      1    1
Hallsville      310    022   X    --    8    11   3

Pitchers and catchers
  • Marshall: Rich McFarland, DeAndre McAffe (5), Landon Johnson (6) and Cameron Haller.
  • Hallsville: Coby Weaver, Colton Brasher (6) and Colton Oberthier.

 

WP -- Weaver.
LP -- McFarland.

Doubles
  • Hallsville: Jacob Walker (2), Austin Blakeley, Jack Underwood