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Strong District Start for Bulldogs

Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Garrett FulenchekBuy Photo
Leader Photo by Jack Walker Garrett Fulenchek
Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Matt Griffin
Leader Photo by Jack Walker Matt Griffin

The Howe Bulldogs opened play on the 2014 District 11-2A baseball season with a 6-2 win in Whitewright on March 5.

Garrett Fulenchek pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-hit baseball, striking out 11 to get the Bulldogs off to the positive start. Griffin Underwood worked the final two outs of the game.

Randle Nix went 2-for-3 at the dish, with a pair of stolen bases, and he scored two of the Howe runs.

Easton Ross got the Bulldog scoring started with a hit to drive in Stratton Carroll in the second inning.

Fulenchek had a pair of sacrifice fly’s, driving in Nix in the fourth inning and Carroll in the sixth.

Junior Caleb Ake went 2-for-3 with a walk.

Howe 22, S&S 9

After splitting their first two games at the GCEC-Panther classic in Van Alstyne over the weekend, the Bulldogs won the third place trophy with a 22-9 win over district rival S&S on Saturday.

Senior Garrett Fulenchek hit for the cycle in spectacular fashion in Saturday’s contest. His two-out shot over the left field fence got the Bulldogs off to a 1-0 start against the Rams. Fulenchek tripled in the second inning, doubled in the fourth and completed the cycle with a single in the fifth.

S&S came back in the bottom half of the first inning to score five runs against freshman starter Matt Griffin.The big lefty appeared to be bothered a bit by the weather, which could best be described as—raw.

After fanning the last two batters in the first, Griffin K’d two more in the second and shut down the side in order in the fourth to finish his day’s work.

Howe added two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth before sending 16 batters to the plate in the sixth, scoring 10 runs while everyone was just wishing the game would end.

Stratton Carroll retired the side in the bottom half of the sixth and the post-game hand shakes were brief.

Howe won the opener in the 10th Annual GCEC-Panther Classic, beating Community 8-3.

The tournament champion Melissa Cardinals beat Howe on Friday, their second win over the Bulldogs this season.

Howe 12, Tom Bean 2 (5)

Following up play in the Van Alstyne tournament, Howe returned to district action on March 10 with an impressive 12-2, run-rule win in Tom Bean.

The Bulldogs’ Garrett Fulenchek was hit by a pitch with two out to start the game After stealing second base, Fulenchek scored on an RBI single by Quinton Harris, who has been raking at the plate.

Randle Nix led off the second with a single and moved to third on a Tom Bean error. A sacrifice fly by Easton Ross brought home Nix to bump the Bulldog lead to 2-0.

Things broke bad for the TomCats in the fourth inning as seven consecutive Howe batters reached; when the carnage was complete the Bulldogs were on top, 9-0.

Tom Bean tried to answer in its half of the fourth, getting a one-out double. Griffin Underwood picked up his eighth strikeout on the next hitter, and a 6-3 ground out ended the threat as Harris scooped up the throw at first base.

Howe added three more runs in the fifth as Stratton Carroll singled and Ross beat out an infield hit.

Fulenchek cleaned the bases with a shot over the left field wall that left the field a lot quicker than it came to the plate.

Underwood’s shutout was spoiled in the Tom Bean fifth as the Cats scored a couple of runs, not enough to escape an early exit.

Howe 10, Whitesboro 0 (5)

Last Tuesday was a day in Howe that Whitesboro diamond sports would like to forget.

Just a few hours after the Lady Bulldogs had handed Whitesboro’s softball team its first loss of the district season, Bulldog baseball run-ruled the Bearkats, 10-0.

Some pretty questionable coaching at the end of this one…

The Bulldogs were leading 2-0 going into the bottom half of the fifth inning and Garrett Fulenchek led off the inning with his second double of the night. Quinton Harris’ sacrifice bunt moved Fulenchek to third as the Bulldogs were looking to expand that lead.

Caleb Ake singled to drive in Fulenchek and Zach Blevins tripled to the wall in left center to plate Ake. Walks to Brice Mosier and Griffin Underwood loaded the bases, but the Bulldogs had been there before.

In the first two innings, Howe left five runners on base, four in scoring position. Stratton Carroll’s single ended that mess as Blevins trotted home to make it a 5-0 game. Still batting in the fifth, Randle Nix cranked a two-RBI double, moving Carroll to third.

Let’s see, runner on second and third, two out and Fulenchek coming to the plate representing the walk-off run with the 10-run rule in play.

Slap the metaphorical“We should have walked him” bumper sticker on the Whitesboro bus as Fulenchek deposited a pitch into what someday soon will be an expanded parking lot and we all got to go home early.

Whitesboro 0-0-0-0-0—0

Howe 0-0-2-0-8—10

(10-3-1)(3-0) 2b-Fulenchek (2) Nix, 3b-Blevins, HR-Fulenchek.