Yoakum's Blakeney makes first start a successful one
By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
March 3, 2013 at 12:02 a.m.
Updated March 2, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.
YOAKUM - Timmy Blakeney was anxious to make his first start of the season, even if it was against an undefeated Hallettsville team.
Blakeney had made three relief appearances for Yoakum, but he made a convincing case to remain in the starting rotation.
Blakeney pitched a four-hitter to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-0 win on a chilly Saturday at the Yoakum tournament.
"I just wanted to go in there and throw strikes and let the defense work because they've got my back," Blakeney said. "I had to keep the ball low because they can smash it. They hit well the whole tournament. They hit four bombs I think. They can hit."
The Brahmas (8-1) had difficulty making contact against Blakeney, who struck out nine and walked three. He threw 73 of his 113 pitches for strikes and allowed more than one runner to reach base in only two innings.
"I just told him we can't get behind and we've got to keep them off-balance," said Yoakum coach Bobby Nicholson. "If you noticed, we started with a lot of curveballs and threw a lot of changeups. On Timmy's arm that's a little easier. So basically keeping them off-balance was staying ahead in the count and not giving them free walks."
Blakeney also helped his own cause with a solo home run in the second inning, and a RBI single in the third.
Keith Ratley and Chase Hermes also had RBI singles for the Bulldogs (5-2), who had nine hits.
"I thought we hit the ball well behind him," Nicholson said. "We have a lot of arms, but there's not a lot of consistency on the mound. I know what I'm going to get out of Timmy because he's a proven guy. I'm getting a lot of innings out of those other guys because we've got to develop some."
Hallettsville had one runner reach third base on a wind-blown triple by Tait Schindler in the second.
"He out-competed us and that was the difference in the ballgame," said Hallettsville coach Shorty Cook. "We needed to see a good arm like that to get us ready because we're going to see on Tuesday (the District 28-2A opener against Luling) about the same. Hopefully, we'll learn from our mistakes tonight at the plate, make those adjustments and have a better game Tuesday night."
Blakeney hopes Yoakum will seize the momentum from its win over Hallettsville.
"I think it will give us a pretty good boost," Blakeney said. "That's a real good ballclub right there. We've had our ups and downs. I think if we keep it up and keep our defense and not make errors we can hang with anyone."