CARTHAGE -- Twenty-eight years ago, Houston Astros pitcher Mike Scott tossed a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers to clinch the National League West for Houston.

On Thursday night, Carthage senior right-hander William Rittenberry pitched the Bulldogs to the District 20-3A championship while holding Diboll out of the hit column in 1-0 win at Jim Reeves Memorial Field.

Not bad for a guy who was used for two innings out of the bullpen two days earlier.

"He had rest where he could've actually started the ballgame (Tuesday)," said Carthage coach Jim Goldman of Rittenberry, who closed out the Bulldogs' 4-3 win over Lufkin Hudson on Tuesday. "He didn't throw that many pitches the other night and he's our horse. He had a couple extra days rest and he wanted the ball tonight, and he did a great job for us."

Rittenberry struck out seven and pitched around two errors, two walks and one hit batsmen. He needed only 87 pitches to get through seven innings.

"Early on I didn't have good off-speed, so I knew I had to get ahead of the them with the fastball," Rittenberry said. "I was just trying hit the black all night."

Carthage (17-7, 9-1), which has two more district games remaining, will enter the playoffs as the top seed from 20-3A and on quite a hot streak. Since beginning the year 1-5, the Bulldogs have won 16 of their 18 games.

"We were playing some good people, but we weren't playing well at the time," Goldman said. "We were making a lot of errors and we're still making more errors than we're accustomed to, but the kids are playing hard, and all you can ask them to do is play hard. We've got great senior leadership, our upperclassmen are stepping up. We didn't hit the ball tonight, but we found a way to win the ballgame."

Carthage managed just two hits on the night, but pushed across the only run it needed in the third inning on Terian "Tee" Goree's sacrifice fly to right field that scored Tyler Musgrove.

It was the only blemish for Diboll starting pitcher Thomas Lee, who suffered the tough-luck loss. The run was unearned as Musgrove went from first to third on an error by the Diboll left fielder after a Micah Templeton single to left, which immediately preceded Goree's sac fly. Lee struck out two and walked two in six stellar innings.

"We were way out on our front foot," Goldman said. "We've been hitting the ball extremely well lately. Tonight, (Lee) didn't throw extremely hard, but he was on the outer half and he got us out on our front foot. Hitting's going to come and it's going to go, but as long as we pitch and play defense we've got a shot. We did make a couple errors tonight, but overall I was pleased with the way we played."

Despite registering just one hit on the night, Diboll had a few chances to get on the board. The Lumberjacks left runners at third in the second, fourth and sixth inning. Alex Aguilar led off the seventh with a walk, but his courtesy runner was caught stealing by Carthage catcher Jack Morris for the first out of the inning.

"That throw by Jack in the seventh inning is huge, that's a big-time play," Goldman said. "(Second baseman K.J. Harkrider) hung in there and got the tag down and I couldn't be more happy."

Rittenberry had just two innings in which he retired Diboll in order, but the Lumberjacks never could break through against Carthage's ace.

"I watched us warm up today, and I knew we were all business coming out to play," Rittenberry said. "When you see that, you know one run's enough."

Carthage finishes off district play next week, hosting Center on Tuesday and traveling to Huntington next Friday. Diboll is at Pollok Central on Tuesday before hosting Lufkin Hudson in the regular-season finale next Friday.

Carthage 1, Diboll 0

District 20-3A Baseball

At Jim Reeves Memorial Field, Carthage

Diboll                   000    000    0    --    0    0    1
Carthage              001    000    x    --    1    2    2

Pitchers and catchers
  • Diboll: Thomas Lee and Isaac Hernandez.
  • Carthage: William Rittenberry and Jack Morris.

 

WP -- Rittenberry.
LP -- Lee.