As if their rivalry required any more juice, Katy and Tompkins met Tuesday, March 30, in a battle of two teams ranked in the top six of Class 6A in the state by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association.
As if their rivalry required any more juice, Katy and Tompkins met Tuesday, March 30, in a battle of two teams ranked in the top six of Class 6A in the state by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association. And as usual, the appointment did not disappoint, as No. 6 Katy got the upper hand against No. 2 Tompkins in their first meeting of the season, 4-3, at Katy High.
The Tigers improved to 18-3-0 overall and stand 6-0 in District 19-6A, alone in first place. The Falcons fell to 20-2-1 overall, 5-1 in district play.
Katy was the beneficiary of a strong start from senior ace and Rice signee Caleb Matthews. The right-hander threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (none earned) on three hits while striking out eight and walking two.
“I really focused on attacking the hitters head on,” Matthews said. “I had great command on four different pitches to keep Tompkins guessing. In addition, the defense behind me has been spectacular. We continued to make great plays in big situations. Everybody is contributing top to bottom in our lineup as well. This was a great team win.”
Matthews, who has yet to lose a start this season, had his four-seam, two-seam, curveball, slider and changeup all working for most of the game against a prolific, hard-hitting Tompkins team.
“My fastball had a lot of movement, along with my breaking balls having very late, sharp action,” Matthews said. “I put the ball where it needed to be to keep them off balance.”
Junior right-hander Garrett Thompson earned the save for Katy, throwing 1 1/3 innings and striking out two while not allowing a hit.
Katy jumped out to a 4-0 lead, with RBIs from Matthews, Ryan George and Johnattan Ferrebus and two runs scored by Jack Johnson, before Tompkins scored three runs in the sixth to make a game of it.
The Falcons’ Jack Little, Ty Dagley and Cash Russell contributed RBIs off Matthews to end his evening with two outs in the sixth before Thompson shut down the rally.
Tompkins used three pitchers. Junior right-hander Michael Battista started and allowed three earned runs on two hits in two innings while striking out three. Only 22 of his 41 pitches were strikes, however, as he faced 12 batters. Dagley threw two scoreless innings. Junior LSU commit Jace LaViolette struck out four and allowed one hit in two innings of work.
Tompkins’ pitchers threw 12 first-pitch strikes to 27 batters. Katy pitchers threw 15 first-pitch strikes to 30 batters. Falcons and Tigers pitchers combined for 19 strikeouts in a game where runs were few and precious.
“This was a very important game, not only for district standings, but to prove how special this Tigers team is,” Matthews said.
Tompkins and Katy play again April 23 at Tompkins at 6 p.m.