MARSHALL -- Hallsville didn't need much help in recent years, but this season's less experienced team will gladly take what it can get while discovering its identity.

The Bobcats hammered Marshall, 11-1, Tuesday at Maverick Field in both teams' District 15-5A opener thanks in large part to a five-spot in the top of the second inning. All five runs came with two outs and followed an infield throwing error.

"We're still looking, but it was a good win to come out and get the first district win," skipper Scott Mitchell said. "That seems to be the hardest one to get sometimes. Once you get that first one, you kind of start relaxing and getting into a groove and playing. I was excited to be able to come over here, play and get a win."

Hallsville first baseman Carson Henderson batted 2 for 3 and reached base a third time on a hit-by-pitch in the victory.

There was a lot of friction in the meeting. Only one half-inning in the seven-inning game ended with three batters retired in succession.

Naturally, that half-inning belonged to Hallsville (8-3, 1-0). Starting pitcher Justin Slaten allowed four hits and four walks while striking out eight batters en route to a complete game on 121 pitches.

Marshall (5-4, 0-1) used four pitchers to get through the contest.

With runners at the corners and two outs in the top of the second, an infield overthrow on Hallsville nine-hole hitter Ryan Cole's ground ball allowed catcher Colton Oberthier's pinch runner, Jarrett Wynne, to escape home to open scoring. Cole moved to second base in the panic and Tye Smith, who was hit by a pitch earlier, moved from second to third.

Leadoff hitter Zach Cochran hit a comebacker the next at-bat. The throw from the mound to first base was late, scoring Smith.

Ty Meissner knocked a ball between Marshall's left fielder and shortstop two pitches later for another run.

Facing a 3-0 deficit, the Mavericks' pitcher bounced a pitch to the plate and Cochran rolled in under a tag before Carson Chapman walked on a full count.

A double steal set up by Chapman the next at-bat helped Meissner weasel home ahead of the final out.

Hallsville then sent seven batters to the plate in its share of the third inning and produced a run on one hit for a 6-0 advantage.

"I was pleased with being able to manufacture from runs," Mitchell said. "Especially early in the game. That kind of helped break the ice for us."

Mavericks catcher Cameron Haller, a junior committed to Texas A&M, reached base on a Bobcats infield fielding error to start the bottom third and then reached home on two wild pitches and a passed ball before the second out of the frame was recorded.

Hallsville scored five unanswered runs on seven hits through the final four innings of play. Designated hitter Matt Wyman led the charge with a team-best two RBIs as part of a 2 for 4 day at the plate.

Cochran and Henderson also recorded two hits apiece for the winning club.

It was only the second time in a week the Bobcats saw live pitches. Rain wiped out their scheduled non-district games last week and the field condition in Hallsville afterward made practice difficult.

Marshall won't have to think about the loss much longer. It will be back in action today at 1:30 p.m. in a non-district home game against Carthage before resuming the league schedule Friday versus Pine Tree.

Hallsville will host Texas High in its very first home game of the season at 7 p.m. Friday.

"We're still kind of searching for an identity of who we are," Mitchell said. "But one thing we do preach is pitching and playing defense. I don't care who you are, if you pitch and play defense, you're going to give yourself a chance in every game. That's the way it's got to be in this district. You've got to be able to pitch and play defense."

Bobcats shortstop Ryan Cole fires to first base for a 6-3 putout in the fourth inning of Hallsville's 11-1 district-opening win.

Hallsville 11, Marshall 1

District 15-5A
At Maverick Field, Marshall

Hallsville           051    201     2    --    11  10   1
Marshall            001    000    0    --      1    4    1

Pitchers and catchers
  • Hallsville: Justin Slaten and Colton Oberthier
  • Marshall: DeAndre McAffee, Michael Crutcher (3), Hunter Neal (6), Kolton Roberson (7) and Cameron Haller
  • WP -- Slaten
  • LP -- McAffee