The Muenster Hornets have advanced to the regional semifinal series after their two-game sweep of Archer City.
The Hornets downed the Wildcats 11-1 on Thursday in Bowie and again 13-3 on Friday in the regional quarterfinal series.
Bosqueville stands in the Hornets’ way of the regional final with Game 1 on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Game 2 on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Game 3 to follow 30 minutes after if necessary. All games will be at Kennedale High School.
On the mound on Thursday was Stetson McGrew, who allowed just one run on only 67 pitches.
McGrew said his approach to the game was simple.
“I just had to go in and throw strikes and do the best I can do,” McGrew said. “As long as I can keep the runs below one, I think I’m doing a great job pitching. All three of my pitches, my fastball, curveball and my change-up were working. Today, I normally don’t do it, I started out with a curveball on my first pitch and it was a strike. I don’t normally do that.”
Head coach Josh Wheeler has very complimentary of McGrew’s performance, especially in so few of pitches.
“It’s really good,” Wheeler said. “That’s throwing a lot of strikes. When you’re throwing a lot of strikes and we make most plays, the other team isn’t going to score very much. He knows he’s going to start game 1 or 2. We just thought we’d give Parker an extra day of rest. Those two are going to start those games.”
Stetson and Parker McGrew have formed a formidable duo of pitching along with their bats on offense.
Wheeler said they are crucial to the team’s success.
“They’re great kids and they’re different,” Wheeler said. “Stetson is kind of cool and Parker is out there with a lot to say a lot of the times. They’re great kids and I like them both. Stetson didn’t have a great year last year, but he’s had a great year in every sport he’s played. He’s been a good player for us.”
The Hornets quickly put up six total runs in the first two innings on Thursday, which was a welcomed sight compared to last week’s nail-biting win over Trenton in which Trenton held a 1-0 lead headed to the fifth inning.
Wheeler said he noticed a palpable relaxation against Archer City.
Stetson McGrew he was relaxed on the mound knowing the capabilities of the offense.
“It’s good that I know we can score the runs to get it done in the least amount of innings,” McGrew said. “It’s good to know that we have the room if we need to. We shouldn’t lose a game, but coming off a win is great.”
Last season’s run to the state championship didn’t see the Hornets lose a game on the way to a 10-0 postseason record.
McGrew said the team is capable of another similar run.
“I feel like we are on that same path,” McGrew said. “We just have to keep up the intensity, work hard in practice and just do our best on the field and play error-less baseball.”
Piling up 24 runs in two games, the offense has arguably been the cornerstone of the team, but the defense and pitching are no slouches either.
Wheeler said if the offense keeps on its pace, the Hornets have a good chance to extend their season.
“We just have to come out and throw strikes again and play defense,” Wheeler said. “We’re going to score and most of the time it’s five or six runs. We don’t get held to that very often. Godley held us to one run this year and that’s the lowest outing we’ve had.”
Asked if the Hornets could have done anything better in their series against Archer City, Wheeler said the key would be hitting the right pitches.
“We hit the fastball well,” Wheeler said. “We have to stay back on the breaking stuff and the off-speed stuff and try to drive those to right field. I think we hit the ball well. We work on hitting to opposite field every day, so when we get first-pitch curveballs, we have to be able to knock those to right field. I thought we could have hit the breaking ball better. We had some bad swings at times, but besides that, I thought we played well.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip