Williams pitches East past El Campo
By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 25, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 24, 2013 at 8:25 p.m.
A cold wind wasn't all that was whipping through Riverside Stadium on Monday night.
Ryan Williams was putting a chill in the El Campo bats in Victoria East's home opener.
Williams pitched a five-hitter to lead the Titans to an 8-1 win over the Ricebirds.
"The weather didn't really affect me at all," Williams said. "I just got in a groove, and I was going. I felt pretty good. Our bats were going, our defense was going."
Williams struck out nine and did not walk a batter. He lost the shutout in the top of the seventh when the Ricebirds (2-4) scored an unearned run.
"He's doing a great job for us," said East coach Wes Kolle. "We feel like when he's on the mound we've got a chance. He attacks the strike zone, he works at a fast pace, and he keeps the defense involved. He's got three or four pitches he can throw for strikes. He's a bulldog out there and gives us a chance."
The Titans (3-3) had seven hits and took advantage of five El Campo errors.
East scored twice in the first inning without a hit and added to its total with runs in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth.
"We've really stressed early on in these games putting the pressure on the defense and trying to score one run every inning," Kolle said. "Tonight, we scored in every inning but one, and that was a big plus for us."
Williams didn't need much help. The junior left-hander escaped a two-out bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning, and the seventh was the only other inning he allowed more than one base runner.
"I was feeling confident in my pitches I was going to throw for strikes," Williams said. "I knew my defense was behind me. I just needed to focus in early and get the W."
Jonathan Ortega had a pair of doubles for the Titans and also made a cutoff throw to get Reid Hubenak, who was going for an inside-the-park home run, at the plate in the fourth inning.
"We're still learning each other," Kolle said. "Our focus is on us and making sure we get better and not necessarily worrying about who's in the other dugout - just pitching good and playing good defense and having a good approach at the plate."