Navarro pitches better than any team in the conference by a sizable advantage.
But don't ever fall asleep on the Bulldogs' bats.
Navarro pounded out 34 hits in a doubleheader sweep of Northeast on Wednesday afternoon at Graham Field, rallying for a 9-8 victory in Game 2 of the twinbill after winning 12-2 in the opener.
The Bulldogs (36-13, 24-4) have won 13 of their last 15 games as they get geared up for the postseason. Navarro, which moved up to No. 11 in the NJCAA national rankings to lead all Texas teams, has already clinched the Region XIV East Conference title with two games left in the conference season.
The Bulldogs came into Friday's game hitting .299 as a team. Their well over .300 now.
"The last two weeks have been like that," Navarro coach Whoa Dill said. "We've been swinging the bats. We picked up those pitchers that didn't pitch well today."
Navarro needed all 20 hits it rapped out in the second game to complete the sweep. Trailing 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh, the Bulldogs produced a two-out rally. Mason Salazar had an infield single and scored on a double to left field by Drake Roberts to tie the game at 8-8. Roberts then stole third base, a crucial play as he scored the go-ahead run on an infield single by Tyler Wilson for a 9-8 lead.
Reliever J.D. Hammer shut down the Eagles' offense in the seventh and eighth innings, retiring all six batters he faced to get the victory. Blake Griffin worked around a hit batter in the top of the ninth for his 10th save.
Game 2 went back and forth. The Eagles led 5-0 after three innings. Navarro turned the game around with six runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Bulldogs scored five runs with two outs. Roberts had an RBI double and John Clay Reeves followed with a two-run double to tie the game at 5-5. Wilson then completed a cycle for the day, ripping an RBI triple down the right-field line for a 6-5 lead.
Northeast tied the game in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Jason Freeman, but the Bulldogs answered that run on a single by catcher Drew Benefield in the bottom of the inning.
The Eagles took the lead back with a two-run sixth. Cutter Schaney had an RBI ground out and Wesley Hoover had a sacrifice fly to center field for an 8-7 lead.
Navarro used a big inning in Game 1 to put away the Eagles. The Bulldogs exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth as the first eight batters reached base. Kevin Meredith and Salazar started the inning by getting hit by Northeast starting pitcher Justin Schnedler. The Bulldogs then reeled off six straight hits.
Roberts started the hit parade with an RBI single to left for a 6-2 lead. Reeves followed with an RBI double and Byron Reichstein had a run-scoring single. Wilson, who homered in his previous at-bat, ripped an RBI double. Campbell Cooper had a two-run triple to center field and Jovan Hernandez a RBI single for a 12-2 lead.
Navarro starter Gage Curry started the game with three shutout innings, and the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead on Meredith's walk and stolen base and a two-out single to left by Reeves.
The Eagles took a brief 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning as first baseman Payton Allen had a sacrifice fly and Mason Mantle had a two-out RBI double.
Navarro took the lead back with a three-run fourth. Hernandez had an RBI single and Salazar walked with the bases loaded for a 4-2 lead. Wilson made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth with his third home run, a solo home run to left field.
Curry (7-2) dominated in the top of the sixth, striking out the side. He had nine strikeouts and allowed two runs on five hits.
The Bulldogs still have goals to play for before they go after their top ones of winning the regional title and their second national title in three years. They want 40 regular season wins and have five more games left to get there.
"We're trying to use that to keep them going," Dill said.
It's working so far.
Navarro pitches better than any team in the conference by a sizable advantage.
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Dawson eyes playoffs
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It's not only a new season in a new district but second-year Coach Alica Sexton enters the year after having a full season with her kids — a season that revamped the program at Dawson, where they hadn't won in years.
Navarro Football: Nothing changes for success-minded Bulldogs
It didn't take long for Navarro football Coach Brian Mayper to deliver his preseason message at the SWJCFC Media Day Thursday.
“No surprises at Navarro,'' said Mayper, the first of the seven conference coaches to speak to the media. “We're running the same stuff. You guys know we're going to run the ball. And thank God, we're not changes defenses again this year.''
Mayper's real message is that life at Navarro is all about winning, and all about a culture that expects to win.
“We expect to win them all. If you don't, you're in the wrong business,'' Mayper said. “I think our kids expect it, too.''
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“This will probably never happen again,'' said Frost volleyball Coach Elaine Woods, who returns every player from last year's team.
They are not only back, but they are talented — arguably the most talented group of volleyball players in Frost history.
Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech
Keith Davis believes in dreams.
He lived his.
That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.
TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament
The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.
Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet
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Mildred's Shimonek transferring from Iowa, will walk on at Texas Tech
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GC Baseball/Softball: Mildred names Zamzow new baseball coach; AD Chambliess to coach softball again
The Mildred Eagles didn’t have to go far to find a new baseball coach to replace Aaron Tidwell, who left the diamond to take the job as the principal of Mildred High School.
On Saturday, Mildred named softball coach Brett Zamzow its new baseball coach as Zamzow, who was Tidwell's assistant for five years, moves back to baseball after spending a year coaching softball.
To complete the move Mildred Athletic Director Billy Dan Chambliess will take over the softball team. Chambliess, who is the head football coach, spent fours years coaching softball before becoming the school’s AD last year. All four of his teams won district titles.
Morgan; Remembering House and a better era
The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.
GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win
His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
“I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''
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