SANGER — Like the giddy-up on Parker Mushinski’s fastball, education was in action and on display for everyone to see on a chilly Tuesday night at Sanger High School.
In case there are some who hadn’t already figured it out, the visiting Argyle Eagles offered a great show-and-tell on why they should be among the favorites in District 10-3A when they open league play Friday.
The left-handed Mushinski, who is not even projected to be a starter for the Eagles in district play, struck out 11 in five no-hit innings, while he and his teammates picked up 15 hits in a 10-2 win over the Indians.
Coach Steve Ford’s Sanger team, in its final tuneup before playing host to Gainesville on Friday in its District 9-3A opener, learned just how much is left to do if it wants to figure in the postseason.
“We didn’t hit. We didn’t touch the ball,” Ford said. “But they see where they’ve got to improve, so that’s OK.
“I have a lot of respect for that [Argyle] program; coach [Ricky] Griffin does a great job. This may be the deepest pitching staff they’ve had, and for sure, it’s one of their best all-around teams.”
Argyle will carry a 16-2 record into its district opener Friday against Carrollton Ranchview.
The Indians (12-6) did manage to get three hits and score off reliever Brandon Boyzuick, who pitched Tuesday’s final two innings. They also struck out three more times, giving them 14 for the game.
Eagles first baseman Seth Jones outhit the Indians by himself, going 4-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. Teammate Davis Coghlan had two extra-base hits in a 3-for-3 performance, while Cutter McDonald and Boyzuick each picked up a pair of hits. McDonald logged three RBIs, while Mushinski joined Jones with two each.
“Seth is hitting that way because he works his tail off,” Griffin said of his team’s 6-hole hitter. “I was real happy to see Brandon, our 9-hole hitter, break out. We needed that going into district.”
As for Mushinski, he kept the Indians off-balance with his location and control, a tough combination when mixed with a high-80s fastball.
Griffin wants the lefty to be his closer in district, finishing games for his top two starters, Drew Gooch and Jones.
“Obviously I feel good about our pitching,” Griffin said.
Sanger was left lamenting three wind-blown Argyle fly balls that should have been caught, yet eluded fielders’ gloves completely. One led to a four-run first inning by the Eagles and all were part of a forgettable defensive performance by the Indians, who split the mound work between four players.
The Eagles took advantage of wildness by Indians starter Roy Hedgecock to jump out to a 4-0 lead before many of the fans had time to wrap up in their blankets.
Argyle loaded the bases on a walk and two hit batters and scored its first run on the first of two sacrifice flies by Mushinski.
Jones followed with an RBI single to left, and McDonald wound up with a two-out, two-run single when his pop fell between the first and second basemen.
Jones’ second RBI single made it 5-0 in the third, and Argyle scored three runs against pitcher Goose Ritzel in the fifth and two in the sixth off his replacement, Wilding Smith.
After Sanger’s Ted Wisdom greeted Boyzuick’s turn on the mound with an infield single to lead off the Indians’ sixth, teammate Austen Lange singled him home and, in turn, scored on a throwing error.
ARGYLE 10, SANGER 2
WP — Parker Mushinski. LP — Roy Hedgecock. 3B – Argyle: Davis Coghlan. 2B – Argyle: Davis Coghlan, Cutter McDonald.