Traveling Texas High Tigers Get A Nice Win At Lobo Classic Challenge
LONGVIEW -- Lobos head coach Bernie Martinez wanted a premiere East Texas baseball tournament to be hosted at Longview High School. He got it with Texarkana's Texas High and three teams from Arkansas to round out an eight-team field.
The Texas High Tigers, however, didn't spend Thursday evening in Longview after a 9-2 win against the Lobos and a later game against Texarkana (Ark.) Arkansas High at the Lobo Classic Challenge.
"We get that question asked all the time," Texas High head coach John McClure said. "We went to Byron Nelson which is in Trophy Club, Texas, then day two we drove to Denton and then day three we went to Frisco Liberty. So our kids, they grow up ever since they're in the eighth grade traveling long distances. Then we went to Forney last week which is almost another three-hour trip. We made the trip, played a game then came back Thursday. Then we spent the night Friday."
Trip No. 1 of this particular weekend was a good one.
The Tigers used a four-run top of the first to deflate the Lobos early.
Texas High's effort was supplemented by strong pitching from Division II Arkansas-Monticello commitment Marshall McPherson. He threw a complete game with four hits, one walk and recorded four strikeouts.
"I got a lot of ground balls, a lot of pop ups and my defense played great," McPherson, a Pleasant Grove transfer, said. "We got on top of them at the first inning and just went from there."
Offensively, McPherson hit an RBI triple and jogged home on an errant throw into the Lobos' dugout in the sixth inning.
The game also featured Arkansas commitment Ryan Fant, a really athletic corner infielder for Texas High. He went 3-of-4 from the plate with a first inning double that really got the Tigers' offensive game in motion.
He's another player, like Whitehouse's Patrick Mahomes, in the Lobo Classic Challenge that has to weigh his options at the end of his senior season.
"We get that question a lot," McClure said. "'Is he a college guy or is he a pro guy?' I tell everybody he can do both. He's very talented. Sharp kid. Good in the classroom. Good parents. He's going to have a tough decision to make. I'm not sure where, but at some point he'll get drafted. He'll have to sit down and look at it."
Texas High recorded nine hits and was aided by three Longview errors.
"We gave them a few runs early and then it doesn't help when offensively we're just at a stalemate," Martinez said. "We can't figure out answers for getting rallies started, getting hits early and getting hits when guys are in scoring position. When we need hits the most, we're not getting them. We've got to find a way."
The Tigers will take on Eldorado (Ark.) at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Lobo Field.
The Lobos fell to 6-9 on the year.
Fortunately, there are two more days of non-district baseball to be played in Longview. The Lobos will open Friday's Lobo Classic Challenge slate with a 9 a.m. game against Eldorado.
"I've always wanted to host a tournament here," Martinez said. "We've got a really nice facility here. It just happened that Arkansas schools moved their start date so this is their first weekend for them, I believe. It just kind of worked out.
"I'm good friends with (Whitehouse coach Derrick Jenkins) and John McClure at Texas High. It wasn't too hard to ask them, 'Hey, would you mind playing in our tournament?' That was fortunate on my end. It just kind of fell into place that way. Good field to play on, Longview is a good place to be. It was a good fit."
Texas High 9, Longview 2
Lobo Classic Challenge
At Lobo Field
Texas High 403 002 0 — 9 9 1
Longview 000 020 0 — 2 4 3
Pitchers and Catchers
- Texas High: Marshall McPherson and Trevor Danley
- Longview: Luke Armstrong, Luke Taylor (3) and Austin Attaway.
WP — McPherson
LP — Armstrong
- Texas High: Ryan Fant,
- Longview: Jordan Wright
- Texas High: McPherson