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Mustangs open own tourney with victory

MARBLE FALLS — Just when it looked like the Marble Falls High School baseball team’s fortune was sealed, the outcome changed thanks to, of all things, a bunt. The Mustangs (2-0) were down, 2-1, to Liberty Hill in the first game of the Marble Falls Classic Thursday when senior Brent Franques dropped a sacrifice bunt late in the game.

That shifted momentum, allowing the Mustangs to come back for a 5-2 win.

“I feel like we were fortunate to win,” head coach David Norwood said. “We were solid defensively, but I thought we were a step off for most of the game.”

A hit and a stolen base at third by junior Brian Hicks, who took off on his own, allowed Marble Falls to rally.

Senior pitcher Cooper Bowen (1-0) earned the win.

“Cooper carried us,” the coach said.

Liberty Hill’s two runs came in the first inning. A batter was walked and went to third on two pass balls. The next batter hit an RBI double. Two more pass balls allowed the runner to later score.

Bowen helped his own cause by trimming the lead in half in the bottom of the inning.

He took a base on balls. A balk allowed him to go to second, and he later scored on a pass ball.

As for hitting, the Mustangs skipper said there’s a fine line between patience and nonaggression at the plate.

“The key is selective aggression,” he said.

Marble Falls was determined to keep Liberty Hill from scoring. They tightened defensively and made routine outs.

Few hits were allowed thanks to players taking stabs at hits and racing to get under flyballs.

“We did some little things better in the game,” Norwood said. “I didn’t feel like we were really ready to play.”

Bowen, who is considered the Mustangs’ No. 2 pitcher, joined junior pitcher Hicks in the win column.

“Our No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers are doing a great job,” Norwood said.

Overall, the coach said he was happy to start the tournament in the right direction.

“It was a nice win,” he said. “I think we were a little asleep. We continued to play to make some good things happen.”

Marble Falls will play Boerne Champion 7:30 p.m. Friday and Kerrville Tivy 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Scearce Baseball Field, 2101 Mustang Drive.

jfierro@thepicayune.com