Baseball: Chico stays unbeaten – Dragons roll through Lindsay Tournament

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 9, 2016
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Heavy rains postponed the Chico Dragons’ 10-2A opener against Olney Tuesday.

Through the first two weeks of the season, Mother Nature has had the best luck slowing down the unbeaten Dragons.

Chico moved to 8-0-1, going 3-0-1 over the weekend at the Lindsay Tournament. That followed the Dragons’ 5-0 run through the Jacksboro Tournament.

“We’re playing pretty well,” said Chico coach Brian McBeth. “Things ended before we wanted last year. The kids have worked hard and are motivated.

“We’re finding different ways to win. Pitching has carried us in some games and sometimes it’s been the defense or offense.”

The Dragons bring back nearly the entire starting lineup from last year, including seven seniors.

“Most of them have been through it for three or four years and know what it takes,” McBeth said. “We’ve started the season so much ahead of last year. We’ve spent a lot of time working on the mental aspects of the game and overcoming adversity. We’re carrying it on the field and planning to play with a championship mindset.”

So far, the Dragons’ pitching staff has been in championship form. The seven Chico pitchers have posted an ERA of 2.00 in 42 innings, allowing 12 earned runs on 40 hits.

“We’re loaded on the bump,” McBeth said. “We have five quality pitchers that we can give the ball to any time.”

Staff ace Tyler Melton is 2-0 with a 3.11 ERA, allowing four runs on 14 hits with 15 strikeouts. The Dragons’ Cameron Weatherly is unscored upon in seven and two-thirds, allowing four hits with 13 strikeouts. He earned no decision in holding Lindsay scoreless over six innings, giving up two hits in the 0-0 tie.

“Lindsay is a good ballclub. We’ve played them 24 innings in the past two year and there’s one run difference,” McBeth said.

The Dragons are hitting .453 as a team. Melton is batting .684 with 13 RBIs and two homers.

The Chico game with Olney has been moved to Monday at 5 p.m.

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