Following an ugly district-opening loss to Bowie, the Chaparrals bounced back with a 4-1 showing over the weekend at the Calallen tournament.
Westlake couldn’t keep the Bulldogs at bay in a 15-7 loss March 5 in the district opener for both teams, with the Chaps comeback attempt becoming derailed by Bowie’s bats.
In their four wins, the Chaps outscored their opponents 47-5, with a 13-3 win over CC Ray, a 9-0 thumping of Rio Grande City, a 12-1 win over Midland Lee and a 13-1 drubbing of John Paul II.
The top-ranked team in Class 4A, CC Calallen, got the better of Westlake, 7-2, on Saturday.
“Right now, we’ve settled down into some roles and things are going great,” Westlake baseball coach Jeff Montgomery said. “The great thing about the team this year is just seeing them jell as a family; they’re really buying into this unity thing. They don’t put it all on one person.”
Coming off the loss to Bowie, Montgomery sensed the team was tired of mistakes and losses and that the trip out of town would be beneficial for the Chaps.
“It’s always nice to get away and let them lean on each other for success,” Montgomery said. “I think they’d had enough. I think they wanted to go out there and experience some success. The kids took an opportunity to really get things rolling again … It’s really good to see our pitchers step up and our defense step up, and it’s nice to see everybody jell as a team.”
In the opener against Bowie, the Chaps were behind all game long. The Bulldogs opened up a 4-0 lead in the second. Then Westlake countered to make it 4-2 on a Cory Takenaka two-run homer. In the third, Bowie put up another four runs, and the Chaps got one back in the bottom half for an 8-3 game. In the bottom of the fourth, Aaron Black hit a three-run homer as the Chaps made it 9-7, but both teams went scoreless over the fifth and sixth.
In the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs put it away with a six-spot on the scoreboard en route to the 15-7 win. Westlake had five errors in the loss and allowed 17 hits.
“We’re giving up too many earned runs but we’re working on it,” Montgomery said.
On the first day of the tournament March 7, Wes Nicol was on top of his game in the 9-0 win over Rio Grande City as the opponent notched just two hits all game. Later that day, Duncan Brown picked up the win against Midland Lee in the 12-1 rout.
Friday, Ryan Cunningham got the start and win in the 13-3 victory over CC Ray with Nicol adding a homerun.
Nicol currently leads the team in slugging and RBIs, with 18 as five Chaps have double-digit RBIs already – Cabezas (16), Black (15), Bennett Huddleston (14), Shaw (11) and Takenaka (11). Ryan McPhail leads the team with eight stolen bases.
“They’re all hitting the ball really well,” Montgomery said. “[McPhail is] doing a lot and helping us out there, he’s jumping all over that role.”
In the nightcap, Tate Shaw threw well but was up against a stout CC Calallen squad, and the Chap bats went cold at the wrong time. Westlake had just three hits, including an Alex Cabezas homer, in the 7-2 defeat.
In Saturday’s finale, Sam Koenig got the start and Jacob Lentz closed out the win over John Paul, with Cunningham adding a homer in Westlake’s (11-7) win.
Westlake played Akins March 12 and Anderson March 13 (after press time) before having the rest of spring break off. The Chaps play at Del Valle 7 p.m. Tuesday and host Cedar Park 7 p.m. March 22.