By Todd Wills
Special to the Corsicana Daily Sun
There's no place like home, at least that's what the Tigers were saying after Tuesday's 1-0 victory at Lindale.
Tigers freshman pitcher Trevor Nolen, who grew up in Lindale, returned to face his friends and threw six shutout innings.
And, in keeping with the home sweet home theme, center fielder Zane Otten did all of his work there. His straight steal of home in the top of the second inning provided the only run of the game. Otten also threw out Lindale's Micah Walker at home in the bottom of the fifth helping the Tigers keep the lead.
Corsicana (23-5-1, 7-1) set up a huge game Friday night at home against Whitehouse (8-0) to pull even in the District 16-4A race. Whitehouse beat the Tigers 3-1 on just one hit three weeks ago.
Nolen and Otten played the roles of hero in Tuesday's win. Nolen allowed five hits in six innings. He walked only one batter. He had six strikeouts.
Nolen was throwing so well and had his pitch count down low enough that Tigers coach Heath Autrey sent him back in for the top of the seventh.
"He deserved the chance to go back out there," Autrey said.
Nolen certainly did, and Kris Bond had a leadoff single for Lindale, Autrey went to ace Holden Grounds. The senior got the final three outs, including a force out at second base on a pretty play fielding his position.
The Tigers scored in the second when Otten bunted for a single, stole second and moved to third on a double by Bobby Lopez. With two outs, Otten broke for home and slid in easily for a 1-0 lead. It was his third of steal of the season.
"Their pitcher had a slow windup and I knew I had it," Otten said.
Otten played defense in the fifth. After Aaron Cantu made a sliding catch in left field, Otten got into the act when he threw out Lindale's Micah Walker on a perfect strike to catcher Zane Otten to end the inning.
That preserved the win, and for Nolen, it gave him a sweet homecoming.
"This was great," Nolen said. "I know all of those guys. My family was here. It felt good."
Corsicana 1, Lindale 0
Corsicana 010 000 0 – 1 5 1
Lindale 000 000 0 – 0 5 0
WP –Trevor Nolen
LP – Sam Sitton
Sv – Holden Grounds
Top hitters - C: Bobby Lopez 1-3 (2B), Zane Otten 1-3 (run, 2 SBs), Holden Grounds 1-3, Ben Goodrich 1-3, Zach Rash 1-3 (2B), Brady Harlan 1-3; L: Kris Bond 2-3.
Records - Corsicana 23-5-1, 7-1 in District 16-4A. Lindale 14-9, 4-4.