BASEBALL: Highlanders open district play with 15-2 victory over Conroe
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — The Woodlands Highlanders ousted the Conroe Tigers in only five innings 15-2 with big offensive plays in the team’s district opener.
Conroe put a run on the board at the top of the first, but the Highlanders set the pace of the game as they got back-to-back doubles and tied up with the Tigers. After coming through with another run, the bases were loaded and a pitch hit Lex Trauffler and brought two more runs to the board. Two more big hits by Devon Fotenot and Dillon Kotsios put the Highlanders ahead 8-1 at the end of the first inning.
Fotenot held off Conroe at the top of the second and maintained their 8-1 lead, but a quick second inning for the Highlanders only put one run on the board, entering the third on top of Conroe 9-1.
With two outs at the top of the third, Conroe’s Jordan Fisher hit a triple RBI, brining the score to 9-2. Player of the Game Cole Creighton walked to first at the start of the bottom of the third and was followed by Trauffler’s single on a bunt. The bases were loaded after Kotsios’ walk to first, and Vince Secrest hit a fly ball and got Creighton to the home plate for an added run. Catcher Zach La Confora singled to centerfield, and Trauffler added the Highlander’s second run of the inning.
“We’ve had a lot of competition for a lot of our spots, and Cole has a really good glove, and the responded really well to some good plays at third base and came out with a big home run,” Highlander head coach Ron Eastman said. “He had a great game. Effort from everybody was great today.”
The Highlanders held off the Tigers from scoring at the top of the fourth. Creighton hit the ball out of the park for a home run and brought the score to 12-2, The Woodlands, and Secrest followed hit a line drive double for two added runs for the Highlanders. Secrest later scored on a Riley Wohlschlaeger error, and the Highlanders closed out the inning with what would be their final 15-2 score.
“It’s a first district ball game. You’ve got 12 games, and it’s a race now,” Eastman said. “We’ve been working all off season and preseason for this game and trying to get a win.”
Eastman said that while the team was tired from playing some of the toughest teams in the state at a Dallas-area tournament, he was proud of the way they pulled through with such a huge victory.
“I thought we spotted really well, especially since we played 16 games in three weeks. The guys were a little tired after playing six games in Dallas, and they responded really well,” Eastman said. “We’ve been working really hard on our approach to the plate, and Devon has been giving us great innings every time he’s out there. I’m pleased with our effort and our intensity.”
The Highlanders will be on the road Friday, March 18 to face Atascocita High School.