Fourth inning uproar lifts Cowboys past Hebron


Sruthi Lingam

Coppell junior TJ Pompey pitches against Hebron on April 5 at Coppell ISD Baseball/Softball Complex. Pompey is one of the pitchers in the Cowboy quartet carrying Coppell through its quest for a district, regional and state championship.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

In a scoreless ball game going into the bottom of the fourth, the Coppell baseball team knew that, at some point, it would have to start getting aggressive on the plate if it wanted to take the lead against Hebron.

And that’s exactly what Coppell senior third baseman Walker Polk did.

Coppell junior pitcher TJ Pompey was hit by a pitch while senior catcher Bradley Castillo was also hit by a pitch after senior left fielder Andrew Nester laid down a sacrifice bunt. With one out, up stepped Polk. 

On the first pitch, Polk rifled a three-run homer on a line drive to right field to score Pompey and junior courtesy runner Zack Darkoch. 

“I was just going up to bat aggressively and I knew that the first pitch I see in the zone, I’m going to hit, so it just turned out that I hit a home run,” Polk said. “It’s going to give me a lot of confidence because baseball is a sport of failure and sometimes you have hot streaks and other times you go on dead streaks so hopefully this gets me back on a hot streak.”

Polk’s homer awakened the Cowboys as they went on to shut out Hebron, 7-0, on Tuesday at the Coppell ISD Baseball/Softball Complex.

“That was a big swing for us tonight; we’ve been needing a couple of big hits with guys on to break us open and that was a three-run home run that broke the game open,” Coppell coach Ryan Howard said. “It got us going and it got us more aggressive so it was a really good swing with really great timing.”

In the bottom of the first with one out, Nester singled on a hard ground ball to right field but a double-play by the Hawks ended the first inning.

In the bottom of the second, Polk singled on a ground ball to center field but another double-play and a strikeout ended the second inning.

After Polk’s homer in the bottom of the fourth, senior designated hitter Landry Fee hit a hard ground ball and reached on an error by Hebron freshman shortstop Patrick Crayton Jr. Coppell junior second baseman Tanner Sever was walked and junior first baseman Andrew Schultz hit an RBI single on a hard ground ball, reaching second on an error by Crayton Jr. and scoring Fee. 

Coppell senior right fielder Will Boylan was hit by a pitch and Sever scored on a passed ball. Senior center fielder Carter Fields was walked and set up bases loaded again with two outs remaining but a strikeout and subsequent ground out ended the fourth inning as the Cowboys increased its lead to 5-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Hebron used two relievers. 

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Schultz singled on a ground ball to center field and Darkoch scored to increase the lead to 6-0. 

Pompey pitched a perfect game until the sixth inning. After striking out the first Hebron batter, Pompey gave up three hits. Pompey was able to get out of the loaded bases jam as Hebron junior second baseman Cade Binion flew out to Nester.

“I knew that they were catching my fastball so I had to switch it up a little bit,” Pompey said. “I knew I still had to get ahead in the count so I threw my strikes and did my job.”

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Pompey scored on a passed ball.

Fee entered in relief in the seventh inning and retired all three batters with a ground out, strikeout and line out.

Pompey used a mixup of a fastball and a breaking ball to last six innings, giving up three hits, walking two and striking out seven. 

“TJ did what we needed him to do; he threw a lot of strikes, he forced contact, he let our defense play behind him and it’s just what we needed tonight so he did great,” Howard said. 

On Friday, the Cowboys travel to Hebron with first pitch at 7 p.m. 

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