When Jess Todd and Michael Whitney are on their game, it takes a great deal of pressure off Navarro hitters.

Such was the case against Northeast Texas Tuesday, when the aces mowed through the Eagles’ lineup twice over in a Region XIV East Zone sweep where the Bulldogs prevailed, 12-2 and 10-2.

While Todd (5-0) struck out nine in a complete-game six hitter in Game 1, Whitney (3-1) capped it with eight strikeouts and just three hits allowed through 6 2/3 in Game 2.

“Whenever you’ve got pitchers that are that dominating, you kind of know you can sit back and they’ll do their job,” sophomore first baseman Chris Davis said. “All you have to do is put up the runs.”

The Bulldogs did just that, with the free-swinging Davis leading the way. He crushed his eighth and ninth homers of the season — one in each game — to lead the offensive attack.

The first one came when the ’Dawgs were already ahead 7-2 in the sixth inning of Game 1, as the lefty hammered reliever Michael Burk’s pitch deep over the right field fence.

Davis’s second bomb might have traveled even further, as the towering solo shot off starter Jon Kumpa went to the same spot in right during the second inning of Game 2.

“The first one, I was sitting back because I was ahead in the count,” said the Longview native. “But yeah, when I hit it, I knew it was gone. The second one, I hit it well, but you never know with this field. It blows in 30 miles an hour sometimes, but it still went pretty far.”

Sophomore third baseman Cole Young also showed the offensive flair that made him the conference’s leading hitter a year ago.

With this year’s top hitter, Pat McCrory, struggling at the plate, Young stepped up in the five-hole to go 5-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Jeff Nutt went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI in Game 2.

“We’ve got a great club,” Navarro head coach Skip Johnson said. “Each guy’s got to be patient enough not to take all the pressure on themselves and really compete for their teammates. We talk about that all the time. If you can’t do it, the next guy tries to pick the slack up.

“Cole had some really good at-bats. He didn’t try to do too much. That’s a big deal.”

Johnson was most pleased with his club’s focus, which helped keep the game out of reach for Northeast (13-12, 1-5 in Region XIV East).

Todd displayed some of that focus in the fifth inning of Game 1, when he loaded the bases with no outs and Navarro leading 7-1. Todd struck out two batters and got one to pop out to end the threat without a scratch.

“It’s just good for us to come out and play hard for 16 innings,” Johnson said. “If we can just keep our focus for 16 innings, that’s what really matters.”

The win brings Navarro to 17-9 on the season and back to .500 at 3-3 in conference play. The Bulldogs travel to Texarkana (17-8 through Tuesday) for a tough doubleheader Saturday.

“We really needed this momentum,” Davis said. “We play two tough games Saturday. I thought we’ve played well since we started conference, but it’s going to be key for us to win conference if we sweep at home.”

—————

Joel Weckerly may be contacted via e-mail at jweckerly@corsicanadailysun.com





Region XIV Conference Statistics

through March 19



Individual Hitting

Name, Team, Year BA R HR K RBI

1. Pat McCroy, Navarro, Fr. .500 21 4 4 27

2. Mike Hallam, Paris, Fr. .494 27 7 13 35

3. Robert Taylor, Laredo, So. .464 34 8 24 45

4. Josey Parker, Panola, So. .429 23 9 5 41

t-5. Leo Delgado, Alvin, Fr. .425 23 2 6 14

t-5. Jeremy Sauceda, Laredo, So. .425 43 1 22 29

7. Shane Barksdale, Bossier, So. .417 19 1 13 23

8. Chad Hebert, Alvin, So. .415 23 2 9 8

9. Greg Sillivent, Blinn, So. .414 27 1 16 14

10. Kirkland Rivers, Texarkana, So. .412 27 2 17 14



Team Hitting

Team BA R HR K BB RBI

Navarro .343 194 22 151 101 176

Paris .343 197 17 127 108 170

Alvin .340 199 17 115 81 165

Panola .332 220 40 132 116 197

Texarkana .328 197 18 132 115 173

Laredo .319 244 14 200 158 229

Bossier Parish .305 173 8 182 116 144

San Jacinto .292 202 19 236 154 174

Blinn .291 172 16 124 79 141

Northeast Texas .285 123 8 103 82 111

Angelina .282 140 16 101 104 119

Wharton County .281 149 18 177 129 127

Galveston .271 193 23 237 143 159

UT-Brownsville .271 139 14 176 119 108

Lon Morris .261 100 9 162 74 78

Individual Pitching

Name, Team, Year ERA W-L R BB K

1. Michael Whitney, Navarro, Fr. 1.16 2-1 8 14 19

2. Jason Rodriguez, Alvin, Fr. 1.37 5-0 11 17 74

3. Chris Kelley, San Jacinto, So. 1.51 5-1 16 30 48

4. Zach Oiiver, Paris, Fr. 1.56 2-2 18 10 31

5. Zach Baker, Paris, So. 1.67 3-1 19 8 19

6. Jess Todd, Navarro, So. 1.74 4-0 13 11 26

7. Josh Paul, Lon Morris, Fr. 1.78 1-0 8 11 12

t-8. Jordan Kratz, Paris, Fr. 1.82 3-0 17 8 22

t-8. Landon Newton, Lon Morris, Fr. 1.82 1-4 22 9 28

10. Jorge Lara, San Jacinto, So. 2.06 1-2 15 13 53



Team Pitching

Team ERA H R BB K

Paris 2.96 172 105 53 123

Northeast Texas 3.41 173 109 101 133

San Jacinto 3.56 238 180 172 278

Blinn 3.68 233 126 96 168

Alvin 3.69 210 151 93 258

Navarro 3.75 191 124 95 163

Texarkana 3.95 183 141 87 179

Angelina 4.03 210 118 65 142

Galveston 4.11 264 156 103 174

Bossier Parish 4.73 261 173 120 219

Lon Morris 4.85 214 153 86 149

Wharton County 4.85 247 173 93 133

Panola 4.92 199 162 110 146

Laredo 5.37 271 216 125 148

UT-Brownsville 5.71 260 208 133 129



Region XIV Baseball

Game 1

Navarro 12, Northeast 2

Northeast 010 001 0 — 2 6 5

Navarro 300 405 X — 12 10 0

WP — Jess Todd (5-0, 9 Ks).

LP — Cody Poche (n/a).

Leading Hitters — NE: John Dao 3-3 (3B, 2 runs), Jeremy Travis 1-3 (2B). N: Chris Davis 3-3 (HR, 2B, 4 RBI), James Belt 2-3 (2B, RBI, run), Cole Young 1-1 (run), Jamarkus James 2-3 (2B, SAC, 2 RBI, run).

Game 2

Navarro 10, Northeast 2

Northeast 000 000 200 — 2 4 1

Navarro 010 134 10X — 10 12 0

WP — Michael Whitney (3-1, 8 Ks).

LP — Jonathan Kumpa (n/a).

Leading Hitters — NE: John Dao 1-3 (2B, run), Jeremy Travis 1-4 (3B, RBI, run). N: Chris Davis 1-4 (HR, run, RBI), Cole Young 4-4 (3B, 2 runs, RBI), Jeff Nutt 2-4 (2B, run, 4 RBI), Jamarkus James 1-3 (2B, RBI), Sean Jones 2-4 (2 runs).

Records: Northeast (13-12, 1-5), Navarro (17-9, 3-3).

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