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Breaking Out the Bats

Leader Photos by Jack Walker  Randle Nix
Leader Photos by Jack Walker Randle Nix

The Howe Bulldogs, Anna Coyotes and Van Alstyne Panthers hooked up in a three-team scrimmage on a cold Feb. 8 afternoon at Forrest Moore Park.

A few brave fans came out, despite the weather, for some early season baseball action.

We know that both Howe and Van Alstyne were missing some starters due to basketball and Anna was probably in that same boat. With a powerlifting meet at S&S High School going on, others were missing, as well.

Although they probably kept score in these five-inning scrimmages, is it really gonna matter in the long run? We came away frost-bit but with some positive impressions from the action.

In the opener, as Howe played Anna, Garrett Fulenchek had an impressive three innings of work on the mound for the Bulldogs. The big senior righthander struck out seven in the first two innings (one dropped third strike.)

The bats were slow to come around in the first game, but we’re pretty sure that Howe outscored the Coyotes.

Van Alstyne supplied the opposition for the Bulldogs in the second contest. Howe took advantage of some Panther miscues to put up two runs in the top half of the first as Randle Nix and Quinton Harris reached on errors. Both scored as Tanner Ford dropped in a Texas leaguer down the left field line, giving Howe an early 2-0 lead.

Van Alstyne came right back in the bottom half of the inning as Shawn Wheeler and Kearon Redmon walked to lead off the frame. Kyler Jay smacked a 2-RBI double to center field to tie the game, 2-2. The Panthers punched across to go-ahead run later in the inning.

In the third inning, Wheeler drove in a run with a single back up the middle.

After a scrimmage in Whitesboro and another in Pottsboro, Van Alstyne will get the regular season started on Feb. 20 with a 3:30 p.m. game against Paradise in the opening round of the Pottsboro Tournament.

Howe has an intra-squad scrimmage set for Feb. 11 and another at Trenton on Feb. 15. The Bulldogs open the regular season on Feb. 18 as they host Muenster in a 4:30 p.m. start.

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