Hallettsville head coach Shorty Cook talks to his team during practice on Tuesday.
As of Saturday, June 2, 2012
HALLETTSVILLE VS. JARRELL
CLASS 2A REGIONAL FINAL
Concordia University, Austin
• Radio: KTXM, 99.9 FM
• Game 2: Saturday, noon
Game 3, if necessary: following Game 2
Hallettsville was disappointed with its 5-4 nine-inning loss to Jarrell in Game 1 of its best-of-three Class 2A regional final series.
But the Brahmas were able to gain some insight that could pay off when they return to Concordia University's Tornado Field in Austin for Game 2 on Saturday at noon.
Hallettsville (28-9) out-hit the Cougars (24-3) and Josh Mettlach's two-run triple was the game's only extra-base hit.
The Brahmas also got a chance to look at likely Game 2 pitcher Morgan Cooper for two innings in Game 1.
Cooper relieved starter Aaron Burns in the eighth inning. He did not allow a hit and had three strikeouts, but also walked two and threw a wild pitch.
"That is a positive," said Hallettsville coach Shorty Cook. "He'll come back and I've heard he's thrown some really good baseball this year."
The Brahmas had six hits against starter Aaron Burns and were 3 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
"With Cooper our approach is going to have to be a little bit different," Cook said. "He throws more off-speed breaking balls than Burns did, even though Burns threw more than he had before. We're going to have to change it a little bit."
Hallettsville's six seniors graduated on Friday night, but Cook isn't concerned about a lack of focus considering what's at stake.
"We've talked about it this week how we're going to approach it and how we're going to handle it," Cook said. "Our kids our mature. I really feel like they are."
The Brahmas also have more pitching depth than Jarrell, which would bode well if the Brahmas can force a Game 3, which would follow Game 2.
Hallettsville's Carson Schindler, Chris Jones and Weston Seay, who have each made at least 12 appearances, have yet to pitch.
"We talk about going game by game," Cook said. "If we want to win this thing, we've got to do it inning by inning and pitch by pitch."
The Brahmas had no illusions about how difficult it would be to qualify for the state tournament for the first time since 1998.
They finished third in District 28-2A and six of their eight playoff wins have been by two runs or less.
"We knew it was going to be a battle coming in," Cook said. "When you get to this point, you've got to earn them all. There are no gimmes. That's what we're going to try and do is come back and win them one at a time."