The Northwest Texans couldn’t solve Keller Fossil Ridge’s Erik Key Friday.
The Panthers starter held Northwest to four hits – just one after the first inning – as Fossil Ridge beat the Texans 6-1 at Texan Field.
“He was mixing up his speeds, and we didn’t get on top of the ball,” said Northwest catcher Dallas Vann, who tripled off Key in the seventh inning.
The loss dropped Northwest to 6-6 and 1-1 in District 4-5A.
“I don’t know anyone that is going to go undefeated in this district,” said Northwest coach John Herrick. “They are a good team and they made their breaks count.
“Our kids played hard. We just never got a baseball break.”
Key was a big reason. He struck out six, including a punchout of Colin Rhodes to close the game. But with his changeup, he kept Texan batters out in front of the ball all night and got several weak popups and groundouts.
“He pitched a great ballgame,” Herrick said. “He had three pitches working for him. He was able to spot his fastball. His changeup was money.”
Northwest had its chance to get to Key early after a leadoff walk to Victor DeJesus. A single by Elijah Christenson and an RBI single to center by Walker Berry tied the game at one.
The Texans could not get a second run home in the inning, however, running into an out at the plate.
Northwest didn’t get another baserunner until Tristen DerMargosian’s two-out walk in the fourth.
Fossil Ridge used a pair of Northwest errors in the first to grab a 1-0 lead. After Northwest tied the game, Fossil Ridge pulled ahead in the third, taking advantage of a walk and double by Kenniel Rivera to start the inning. One run scored on a double play and another scored on a throwing error on what should have been an inning-ending groundout.
They added three insurance runs in the fifth with RBI-singles by Sergio Mendez and Austin Ingraham. A third run scored on a passed ball.