Cleveland, Deer Park clean Memorial 2-0


Whatever the Deer Park High School record for the lowest ERA in a district baseball race, look for it to be challenged this spring.

That’s because Maroon and Gold will be a stingy Class 6A club when the opening of the team’s two District 22-6A competitions are signs of it.

Pitcher Jackson Cleveland walked back the distance on the hill and ended with a 4-hit shutout when Deer Park hid the Pasadena Memorial 2-0 on Wednesday night at Jim Kethan Field.

Cleveland, who did not run a batsman, was helped by a superb defense on the left side of the infield, which made his night so much easier when Deer Park raised his early district mark to 2-0. Coupled with Blake Michalsky’s six-inning shutout by Sam Rayburn on Tuesday night, Deer Park’s ERA is 0.00-13 innings.

“I think sometimes Jackson gets into trouble if he thinks too much instead of letting his talent take over. Tonight he had all his parking spaces in operation. His fastball worked on both sides of the plate. He threw the left a good change. Its cutter was the best it worked all year round. That was his out pitch. Sometimes it’s his curve, sometimes it’s his cutter and tonight it was his cutter, ”said pitching coach Donnie Elliott.

While working, the cutter or cut fastball moves away from the batsman when it hits the plate, giving it more movement than a typical fastball. Although the speed is slower, the cut fastball makes up for it with this movement.

“We do a little five-minute bullpen session the day before he pitched, and I had him throw two or three cutters. It came out of his hand well, so tonight I was confident it would work for him, ”Elliott said.

Memorial, who was 4:25 for a batting average of 0.177 teams, never brought a runner to third base and in terms of runners in goal position the Mavs were only 0-3. Rey Izaguirre, Blake Juarez and Kaden Fernandez were the ones three stranded Mavericks, all of whom came in the second through fourth innings.

Another feature of the cutter is the fact that the ball will not be hit as hard even if a batsman makes contact. It’s not sure if they cut fastballs that hit them, but in the sixth inning, back-to-back memorial hitters put slow rolls on the third baseline that Michalsky, who played third base, put two purposeful throws ran to the first base.

Deer Park head coach Chris Rupp called them “great games” and said the stag would have been in trouble if they hadn’t been made.

“I usually let my defense do all the work. I know I won’t beat a lot of people so I’m just glad my defense supports me every game, ”said Cleveland, who pulled back the last eleven batters. “My cutter was the key. They wallowed over it and missed me and helped me move forward with the count. “

“The later he got, the more he got into a little rhythm. He started hitting with his broken things. In the end he had a little speed on his fastball, ”said Rupp.

Shortstop Wyatt Woodall had his second fine defensive outing in as many nights. One night, after setting up six ground balls cleanly, he set up four more cleanly. One of his first throws hit the ground, but a nice ball from the first baseman led to the end.

Eric Rodriguez was the starter and loser. Rodriguez was injured by the third inning when Deer Park scored both runs. Outside of that inning, Rodriguez was well enough to win. And one of these two runs was undeserved.

RBI singles with runscoring by Tyler Thompson and Tanner Phillips in fifth place spawned RBI singles that hit leadoff hitters Wyatt Woodall and Jake Haring.

Deer Park was 8-for-26 on the plate for a batting average of 0.308. With runners in goal position, the Stags were 4 of 13. But in the third inning they were a much stronger 3-of-6.

“Your child threw a really good ball game. He’s pretty good. We hit a circular saw tonight. He’ll win a few games. There is no doubt about that, ”said Rupp.

“He is our contact person. He threw his curveball for strikes. It’s hard to beat. Whenever you come to Deer Park, you have to play good baseball, ”said Memorial head coach Terry Garza.

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