Twister Barrington and Evan Lawrence weren’t the top two starting pitchers for St. Joseph heading into the season.
They sure are now. Barrington and Lawrence, both sophomores, threw back-to-back no-hitters to sweep in-town rival Allen Academy last week, improving the Eagles’ record to 10-2 and 4-0 in TAPPS Division V District 3.
“It’s exciting for the kids to go out there and see that success,” St. Joseph head coach Jarred Faltysek said. “Doing things that they’re taught to do in practice and then going out there and executing during a game and then to see the success, we’re obviously very happy for them.”
Despite achieving feats some never accomplish, Barrington and Lawrence were just happy to get the win. After losses to Allen Academy in football and basketball, it was nice to beat the Rams on the diamond.
“We have a good team to back us up behind us, good defense,” Lawrence said. “We’ve got good coaches letting us know what to do, and we always try to come out with the win no matter what.”
That unselfish nature will take St. Joseph a long way. With numerous lopsided wins, the Eagles have proven they can hit, outscoring district opponents 87-0. That’s not a typo, and it includes a 30-0 beatdown of Temple Holy Trinity on March 28.
Barrington and Lawrence are very different on the mound. Barrington attacks with his fastball — though Faltysek said he’s developed effective off-speed pitches — while Lawrence, who transferred this year from Bryan, is fond of his curveball and pitches to contact.
“I usually throw it hard enough to where they’re late, whereas [Lawrence’s] ball moves way more,” Barrington said.
The duo of sophomore pitchers weren’t initially the top two starters, but Faltysek is proud of how they assumed their roles. They aren’t the only Eagles to step up, either. Seniors Colton Bledsoe (shortstop/first base) and Noah McClure (first base/catcher) selflessly have filled many different roles for St. Joseph.
Last year, St. Joseph was dominant through district play but lost early in the playoffs. That isn’t discussed much, Faltysek said. His team is focused on the present and this year’s push. The Eagles have upcoming series with Cedar Park Summit Christian Academy and Austin San Juan Diego, but before that, they’ll face Mumford, the only team to beat St. Joseph so far, in nondistrict action on the road at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
College Station snapped its three-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over Waller on Friday, maintaining a strong hold on playoff positioning as the District 19-5A baseball race starts to wind down.
The Cougars (18-8, 5-3) are in third behind A&M Consolidated (12-8-1, 6-2) and Magnolia West (18-3, 8-0) and have a crucial series against the Tigers this week. Both games are at 7 p.m. with the Tuesday contest at Tiger Field and Friday’s at Cougar Field.
In the softball race, College Station (21-3-1, 10-0) has a firm grip on the district race, while Consol (17-7, 7-3) is locked in a tie for second with Waller (15-8, 7-3). The Lady Tigers lost 4-0 to Waller on Friday, splitting the season series. The Lady Tigers have a good opportunity to climb ahead with a game at Rudder at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Waller hosts College Station.
Magnolia (16-4, 6-4) is holding onto fourth place, rounding out the top spots in the district.
THRILLING RACE IN 26-4A
The District 19-5A baseball race isn’t the only thriller in the Brazos Valley.
Caldwell and Navasota both are locked in a tight District 26-4A softball race with three games remaining.
The Lady Hornets currently are in solid playoff positioning at 4-3 along with La Grange and Giddings, which checked in at No. 16 in the latest Texas Girls Coaches Association softball poll. Navasota and Smithville are on the outside looking in right now at 2-5, and Bellville leads the district at 5-2.
Friday night was especially wild as Smithville took down Bellville 1-0, and Caldwell beat Giddings 4-1.
The Lady Rattlers, who are on a three-game skid, will have their chance at the Lady Brahmas on Tuesday as they look to stay alive in the playoff hunt, while Caldwell, which is on a three-game winning streak, will face Smithville. La Grange’s game with Giddings on Tuesday also will help break up the jumble in the race for the playoffs.
IN THE POLLS
Burton (15-3, 6-0 26-2A) held steady at No. 8 in Class 2A in the latest Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association poll, which was released Monday. The Panthers are the only Brazos Valley team in the poll.
In the TGCA softball poll, College Station checked in at No. 10, one spot down from last week. District 19-5A foe Magnolia remained one spot ahead of the Lady Cougars, checking in at No. 9 despite losing 9-2 to College Station on Friday at Lady Cougar Field. A&M Consolidated (17-7, 7-3 19-5A), which was 18th in last week’s poll, dropped out of the top 20.
In Class 2A, Leon moved down one spot to No. 9.