Scoring early and often, the Houston High School baseball team dispatched Plato 11-0 in a run rule shortened contest Friday at Tiger Field.
The Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the first inning, and then added 4 in the second frame, 1 in the third and 5 in the fourth.
Sophomore Garyn Hall pitched another gem for Houston, tossing a complete game 4-hitter while striking out 9 and not issuing a walk.
Hall also went 2-for-3 at the plate, with an RBI and 2 runs scored, and stole a whopping 5 bases to set a new school record for steals in a season with 32 (topping the old record of 31 set by Michael White in 2003).
The Tigers totaled 8 hits in the victory, with 7 players getting at least 1.
Sophomore first baseman Colton Stewart went 1-for-2 and smacked a 2-run double in the second inning, while senior catcher Cody Allen went 1-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs.
Houston ran wild on the base paths and stole 12 bags, as senior shortstop Alex Castleman, senior third baseman Trevor Mitchell and sophomore right fielder Brody McNew swiped 2 apiece.
Plato (8-13) got back-to-back singles with 2 outs in the top of the first inning, but came up empty when Hall fanned the next batter. The visiting Eagles also got a pair of singles in the top of the fourth inning, but couldn’t produce a run.
The win was Houston’s seventh straight. The Tigers (16-2) will wrap up the regular season with a road game Tuesday at Mansfield before hosting the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 District 9 Tournament, scheduled to begin next Saturday (May 15) and conclude Tuesday, May 18.
Houston will be the top seed in the 5-team event.
Through Friday, Castleman had a batting average .571, giving him a shot at eclipsing the school record of .591 set by Tanner Cantrell in 2014.
Sophomore second baseman Danny Venable had the second highest average among Tigers players with at least 40 at-bats at .417, while Allen stood at .396.
Hall is Houston’s leading pitcher with a record of 4-0 and an earned run average of only 1.03 in 47 2/3 innings on the mound. He had allowed 40 hits, while piling up 72 strikeouts and issuing only 7 walks.