Lone Star needs just lone run
United States Pool A saw its second pitcher’s duel in as many games Friday at Volunteer Stadium.
This time around the match-up featured Texas’ Walker Kelly and Missouri’s Darren Aggus.
And in the end, Kelly was one better, holding the Midwest champs to just one hit in a complete-game, 1-0 victory.
Mitchell Belew singled home the game’s only run in the top half of the sixth.
Michael Valdez led off the inning with a double to right-center. Two batters later Belew blooped one just beyond the reach of second baseman Alan Pink.
“I thought the second baseman was going to catch it,” Belew said.
“I ran as hard as I could,” added Valdez.
Kelly struck out 12, including the last three batters he faced. The left-hander also struck out the side in the first and fifth innings.
“I felt pretty good,” Kelly said. “My location and velocity were good.”
“He pitched a great game,” said his father and Texas head coach Jon Kelly.
Aggus took the tough-luck loss, giving up one run on five hits in six innings of work. He struck out seven Texas batters.
“I’m concerned about the offense,” Coach Kelly said. “I would like to see more hits and runs on the scoreboard, but for the time being we’re stuck with low scoring games.
“I know we can compete at this level. The first game in pool play is big and we’re ecstatic to win.”
Missouri head coach Craig Powell was impressed with Kelly’s performance.
“We ran in to a fire-baller tonight,” he said. “He threw a heck of a ballgame against us. He was the real deal tonight.
Texas next plays Hawaii Sunday at Volunteer Stadium, while Missouri squares off against Massachusetts Saturday night in the same venue.
“We’re not out of it by any means,” Powell said. “Our backs are against the wall. The kids are a little upset, but we’ll bounce back.”