Marble Falls baseball wins with strong pitching; Lady Mustangs lose

Marble Falls High School senior pitcher Domenic Patterson earned his first District 25-4A win as a starting pitcher March 25 against Leander Vandegrift. Photo by Kelly McDuffie/


MARBLE FALLS — A week ago, Marble Falls High School senior pitcher Domenic Patterson was very close to leading the Mustangs to their first District 25-4A road win of the season.

But he was unable to finish the task and watched as Leander Rouse came back from a 9-7 deficit to win 10-9 on March 18.

Against Leander Vandegrift on March 25, Patterson made sure the Vipers had no chance of a comeback by striking out three of the four batters he faced in the seventh inning for a 7-2 victory. Marble Falls is now 6-7-3 overall and 2-3 in district.

“I focused in on hitting my spots and threw well,” he said about the difference between the two starts. “My arm felt good. The defense made plays. (Against Rouse, head coach J.T. Blair) told me the day before he needed me to start.”

“He was really good,” Blair said. “Really, it was about getting another district start under his belt. With every start, that’s a key for him being successful.”

He credited former Marble Falls head coach and current pitching coach Ronnie Scearce for developing Patterson, Hunter Dooley and the other pitchers, noting Scearce has been working with pitchers for years. Three former Mustangs — Brian Carpenter, Brian Starche and Brian Price — played Division I baseball.

“He really takes a lot of time. He spends a lot of time with those guys,” Blair said.

Patterson said what really helped was having a group of vocal fans, noting the student body sits behind home plate and brings noisemakers to the game.

“You have everybody here, and you want to win in front of everybody,” he said. “They fire me up.”

Even after Vandegrift took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, the Mustangs still settled in. That might be because Patterson only gave up two hits over seven innings, forcing the opponent to strand a total of four Vipers. It also didn’t hurt that his teammates made every routine play, so when Vandegrift put the ball in play, the Mustangs recorded outs.

Offensively, Marble Falls left five runners before the floodgates opened in the fourth inning. Before the end of the inning and even after the Vipers changed pitchers, the Mustangs scored four runs off five hits and left two runners.

They added three more runs in the fifth highlighted by a suicide squeeze executed to perfection. As senior J.T. Watson got in position to bunt, Adam Hicks was a quarter of the way from touching home plate. With no play at home, the pitcher had to throw to first base, but Watson’s speed put pressure on the infielder to make the play. Instead, the ball was bobbled, allowing the Mustang to round the corner to second base.

Meanwhile, David Spurlock, who was stealing third from second as Watson was about to bunt, never stopped running and scored just as the ball squirted into foul territory.

Blair said that play is an example of the trust the players have in their coaches and in each other.

“We have the ability to put a lot of pressure on the defense,” he said. “That’s what you’re looking for. We’re starting to figure it out offensively. It’s really demoralizing for a defense when you’re able to execute.”

ON OFFENSE: RBIs – J.T. Watson 2, Cullen Vaught 2, Domenic Patterson 1, Carson Bowen 1, Adam Hicks 1

ON DEFENSE: Winning pitcher – Domenic Patterson, 2 earned runs off 2 hits, 3 walks, 1 hit by a pitch and 9 strikeouts

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 6-7-3 overall and 2-3 in District 25-4A.

UP NEXT: 7 p.m. March 25, Marble Falls at Leander Vandegrift, 9700 McNeil Drive in Austin


Cedar Park 5-0 (beat Rouse 6-5)

Dripping Springs 5-1

Leander 4-2 (beat Vista Ridge 4-3)

Vista Ridge 2-3

Vandegrift 2-5

Marble Falls 2-3

Rouse 1-6


Leander 8, Marble Falls softball 1


MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School softball team lost 8-1 to Leander n March 25 to begin the second round of District 25-4A play.

The Lady Mustangs’ run came in the third inning when senior Tyler Oppenheim came home on a single by Emilee Beuershausen.

Meanwhile, the Lady Lions scored all the runs they needed in the first inning when they plated two in the first inning. They added one in the second, one in the sixth and four in the seventh.

Marble Falls (15-9 overall, 4-3 district) is on a three-game losing skid during which it has been outscored 31-11. The past two opponents, Drippings Springs and Leander, are at the top of the District 25-4A standings and were the preseason favorites to battle for the championship.

The starting pitcher for the Lady Lions, Hannah Holt, was the favorite to win the district pitcher of the year as the 2014 season started.

Lady Mustangs head coach Chelsey Heller noted her team’s lack of offensive punch during the past two games, during which they’ve been outscored 20-3.

“We’re not disciplined,” she said. “We’re just swinging to swing. We weren’t really in position to bunt. (Against Leander), this could have gone a little differently. On base running and hits, we weren’t executing. We’re leaving base runners in scoring position.”

She noted good teams find a way to bounce back after losses.

“They come back the next day and say, ‘You’re not going to defeat me,'” she said. “Right now, with the next three or four games, that’s where we have to be. We have to string it back together.”

ON DEFENSE: Winning pitcher – Hannah Holt, 1 run off 5 hits with no walks and 8 strikeouts; losing pitcher – Makenzie Carpenter, 8 earned runs off 10 hits and 9 walks with 9 strikeouts in 6⅓ innings

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 15-9 overall and 4-3 in District 25-4A;

UP NEXT: 7 p.m. March 25, Marble Falls at Leander Vandegrift, 9700 McNeil Drive in Austin


Leander 6-1

Dripping Springs 6-1 (def. Cedar Park 2-0)

Marble Falls 4-3

Vista Ridge 3-4

Rouse 3-4 (def. Vista Ridge 11-8)

Vandegrift 1-5

Cedar Park 1-6