Bryan pitcher Benny Roebuck said he was feeling a little tired heading into the seventh inning of a Williams County ACME Sectional game against Edon on Sunday.
But even with his pitch count creeping over 100, Roebuck knew he could finish it out and told his coaches he felt good.
So he trotted out to the mound and got three more outs to complete a four-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts and help Bryan to a 4-0 victory at Sumpter Field in Bryan.
With the win, Bryan advanced to the sectional final in Bryan on Tuesday and with a top two finish in the tournament, the Bears also clinched a spot at this coming weekend’s district tournament.
“I started off the game knowing Edon would be good,” Roebuck said. “But I knew (catcher) Nate Miller would also be good. He always calls a great game and he’s always blocking when I throw curve balls in the dirt. ... Edon’s a great team, but we had a great defense behind me that helped.”
The Bears only had three hits on the afternoon and all of their scoring came during the second inning. A Breven Deckrosh solo home run led off the bottom of the second, while a few at-bats later, Brooks Brown cranked a three-RBI double that scored Roebuck, Dom James and Trevor Ward to give the Bears a 4-0 advantage.
A Deckrosh single during the fifth inning represented Bryan’s only other hit.
With hits coming at a premium for the Bears, Roebuck’s pitching proved all the more important.
“Benny threw a great game,” Bryan coach Doug Williamson said. “He set the tone striking out 14 guys and I was proud of him. When Benny pitches, you always know what you’re going to get. ... I love to watch him pitch.”
Edon had base runners in five of the seven innings, but ultimately couldn’t string enough offense together against the pitching of Roebuck.
“Benny is a phenomenal pitcher,” Edon coach Preston Klingler said. “He’s probably one of, if not the best pitcher in the county. That’s definitely the best pitcher that we’ve seen all year. ... I’m proud of the guys, but we just couldn’t ever find the hit that we needed to bring the guys in.”
With the loss on Sunday, Edon falls to the tournament’s loser’s bracket. Hilltop and Edgerton will compete in a game at 5 p.m. today at Sumpter Field and the winner of that game will then play Edon directly after at 7:15 The winner of the 7:15 game clinches a spot in the district tournament and advances to the sectional final on Tuesday — where it would have to beat Bryan twice in order to be crowned sectional champions.
“I’m excited and the kids are excited,” Klingler said. “We haven’t been to a district tournament in ACME in 12 years. ... So we’re excited for tomorrow night and we’re ready to get after it.”