TYLER -- Things could not have gone any better for Tyler Lee senior Zach Flanagan on Tuesday night.

Well, almost.

He will probably have an unsightly abrasion in the middle of his chest for a couple days after being plunked while at bat. Other than that, everything went according to plan for Flanagan and his Red Raiders teammates.

Flanagan struck out 11 and allowed just one hit, leading Lee to 2-0 win over Mesquite Horn in the District 12-5A opener for both teams at Mike Carter Field.

“You always want to start 1-0 in district, especially when you’re playing at home," said Lee coach David Howard. "This was a good night for us. Both pitchers pitched well and it ended up being a heck of a game.”

Flanagan, a Howard College signee, allowed just two baserunners all night -- a walk in the second inning that was erased by a caught stealing and a two-out single by Brian McCoy, who was stranded in the fifth.

“He really looked like he had a good rhythm," Howard said. "He mixed up his pitches, he worked both sides of the plate, he got ahead the whole night. I was really impressed with what he did.”

Tyler Lee's Zach Flanagan grimaces after being hit by a pitch during the fourth inning against Mesquite Horn on Tuesday in Tyler. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Flanagan also hand a run in the Lee's two-run fourth inning. After Ross Himes led off with a walk, Flanagan was hit by a Clayton Youngman offering after squaring around to bunt.

“It took the breath out of me, and when I was running down to first base, it was like a short breath and I couldn’t catch my breath," Flanagan said. "It stung quite a bit.”

Himes and Flanagan moved up a base on a wild pitch, and Himes came across to score on a second wild pitch. Then with one out, Tyler Jones dropped down a squeeze bunt in front of the mound to score Flanagan.

“We were able to get some people on base, which is our main objective in every inning whatever way we can," Howard said. "We got a (wild pitch) and went to third and got a (wild pitch) to get to the plate and executed a squeeze just about as well as you can do it. You get the runs when you can when you’re facing a guy like Youngman.”

That was all Flanagan needed.

“When we get runs, my mindset is clear: it’s just let’s get the guys out and go home," Flanagan said.

Youngman was the hard-luck loser for Mesquite Horn (6-3, 0-1). He allowed just two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and two walks in six innings.

Tyler Lee (7-3, 1-0) is back in action this weekend at the Hewitt Midway tournament. The Red Raiders face A&M Consolidated and Hewitt Midway on Friday and Waxahachie and Burleson Centennial on Saturday.

Lee resumes its district season next Tuesday at North Mesquite.


District 12-5A Baseball
At Mike Carter Field, Tyler

Tyler Lee 2, Mesquite Horn 0

Mesquite Horn      000   000   0   --   0   1   0
Tyler Lee              000   200   x   --   2   3   0
Clayton Youngman and Brian McCoy; Zach Flanagan and Tyler Jones.
SB--Lee: Trace Reed.
SAC--Lee: Jones.
RECORDS--Mesquite Horn 6-3 (0-1); Tyler Lee 7-3 (1-0).

Tyler Lee's Trace Reed (right) is tagged out by Mesquite Horn third baseman Tommy Willard during their game Tuesday night in Tyler. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)