McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local Sports

June 11, 2014

Big and bright: Texas wins 2014 Jr. Sunbelt

Beats Tennessee 2-0 in championship; Georgia finishes third

McALESTER — Throughout the Jr. Sunbelt Classic round robin, Texas showed itself over and over again to be the best team in the tournament.

Texas put the finishing touches on a perfect tournament Wednesday night with its first championship since 2006.

Texas starting pitcher Luken Baker struck out 10 in a complete-game two-hitter, leading his team to a 2-0 win against Tennessee in Wednesday's Sunbelt championship at Mike Deak Field in McAlester.

Texas finished the tournament 9-0. Tennessee finished 6-3.

“We had a great bunch of kids,” Texas coach Lou Kosanovich said. “They got along together. That’s the thing: Individually they’re great, but it’s, ‘do they gel as a team?’ And we were able to get them to gel as a team.”

In the third-place game, Georgia beat Oklahoma Gold 9-1. In the fifth-place game, Arizona beat Mississippi 8-5.

Colorado beat Oklahoma Blue 6-3 for seventh place. Canada beat Missouri 3-1 for ninth.

Texas 2, Tennessee 0

Both Baker and Tennessee starting pitcher Donny Everett routinely hit the mid 90s with their fastballs, leaving neither team more than a couple chances to put runs on the board. All of Texas’ runs came in the top of the second inning, when Tanner Schuetz doubled to the center field wall with one out.

Ivan Vera followed Schuetz with a single to left, and Schuetz beat the throw home to give Texas a 1-0 lead. Vera advanced to second on the throw, then scored two batters later when Josh Van Gelder laced a single to right field.

“Both pitchers were out there dominating, and whenever we got those two runs, I wasn’t going to let them go to waste,” Baker said. “I had to pitch with that lead.”

Schuetz got his second hit of the game in the top of the fourth, singling to left with one out. Everett tried four times to pick off Schuetz at first base, but the fifth attempt got away from first baseman Parker Phillips, allowing Schuetz to get to second base.

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