Cowboys shutout Rangers in first round, Gunter throws no-hitter


Nolan Sanders

Senior pitcher Rye Gunter faces a Naaman Forest hitter in the bottom of the third inning of Friday’s baseball game. The Cowboys shut out the Rangers 11-0 and a no-hitter was thrown by Gunter in the process.

Nolan Sanders, Staff Writer

McKINNEY – The Coppell baseball team was victorious over the Naaman Forest Rangers on Friday at McKinney North in an 11-0 win in the Class 6A bi-district playoffs.


In the bottom of the final inning, senior pitcher Rye Gunter struck out the final hitter swinging on three fastballs, ending the game 11-0 and completing a no-hitter on the Rangers.


“[The no-hitter] felt good,” Gunter said. “Just to get out there in the first week of playoffs and do what we could do to go and get a win.”


By the end of the second inning, Coppell had two hits and two runs, one by junior third baseman Kalen Clark, and one senior shortstop Adrian Minjares. Clark scored on a fielder’s choice and Minjares on a sac bunt hit by junior second baseman Josh Bartolacci.


Defensively, the Cowboys did not let up. Over the course of the second and third inning, Gunter struck out two batters and walked only one. Right behind him, the infield and outfield made quick work of the Rangers’ lineup in both innings.


Hitting second in the third inning, junior first baseman Nick Vernars sailed over the right field fence and scored the only run of the inning.


Senior designated hitter Reid Valentine reached first on an infield error in the fourth inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly hit to left by senior left fielder Anthony Villalobos.


In the fifth, Clark doubled to right center and Valentine singled, scoring Clark and making it a 5-0 game.

In the sixth inning, the Cowboys scored six runs on six walks, one single and an error on the field.


By the end of it, Coppell tallied nine hits, including Vernars’ home run.


“We hit pretty well,” Gunter said. “Hitting is one of those things where you gotta go week-in and week-out and do the best we can.”


Coppell plays a double-header in the next round of UIL playoffs on Friday at 1:00 and 4:00 against Montgomery at the Coppell Baseball/Softball Complex.