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GC Baseball: Tigers win three in a row, 6-of-7 to wrap up pre-district run

Mar. 11—They get it.

Honest, the 2024 Tigers, the youngest team Heath Autrey has ever coached in his 13 years at Corsicana, get it.

How far this team will go is still up in the air, but as the Tigers open their district schedule Tuesday in Crandall, they step forward with one undeniable statement: They get what Autrey is teaching.

That doesn't mean they're going to win 20 games, capture a district title and mow teams down in the playoffs. It just means after 13 non-district games, these Tigers understand what Autrey wants, and have a much better understanding how to play the game.

Baseball is fickle.

You can fall in love with the game at noon and it will break your heart by sundown. That's just baseball (and Autrey teaches that, too). But that's the task in 2024 — teach this team how to play and how to rise and how to believe they can rise by believing in themselves.

It's working.

The Tigers wrapped up their pre-district schedule by winning three in a row and six-of-their last seven games. They heated up down the stretch with the best three-word plan in the game — pitching, pitching and pitching.

They won three in a row, allowing just one run. They beat West 1-0 to open the West Tournament Thursday, shut out Reisel 3-0 Friday and defeated China Spring 3-1 on Saturday.

It was once again Brody Dobbs Day in the opener against West. Dobbs has been one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the season. He slammed the door on West's powerhouse lineup, allowing just two singles over the seven-inning distance while striking out two and not allowing a walk.

Dobbs has been remarkable and is 3-0 for the season with a 0.35 ERA.

Dobbs was hit by a pitch in the third and scored on Easton Autrey's clutch RBI single and then just kept putting up zeros to nail down the win. Adrian Baston also had a big day in the low-scoring game, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a stolen base.

Autrey and Baston hit at the top of the order — both literally and statistically.

Baston is hitting .386 with a 1.074 OPS and a .614 slugging average and leads the team in scoring (12 runs) and has driven in nine runs as a leadoff man.

Autrey is a monster at the plate, hitting .313 while belting some sizzling home runs (three already this season). He has a 1.256 OPS and a .688 slugging average. He has scored 11 runs and driven in 11 runs in just 13 games.

The Tigers saw Isaiah Miranda, their only returning pitcher, toss his best game of the season on Friday in a three-hit shutout against Reisel. Miranda went the distance, walked two and struck out seven and looked ready for district.

The Tigers scored three times on nine hits. Connor Perkins, who has emerged as a force this spring on the mound and at the plate. He played shortstop Friday and went 2-for-2, stole two bases and scored twice, Baston went 2-for-4, stole a base and scored and Dylan Anderton had the only RBI in the game when he came through with a clutch RBI single.

Perkins was on the mound Saturday against China Spring, and came through once again, going seven innings and allowing just one run on three hits while striking out four and allowing just one walk.

Perkins is also off to a remarkable start this season and is 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA. He has 12 strikeouts over 20 innings

Perkins, who is hitting .389 with a .977 OPS and a .500 slugging percentage, has scored 10 runs and driven in 10 runs in 13 games. He had a two-run triple in the sixth and scored on Trenton Bruton's clutch single. Josh Portillo had a double and scored on Perkins' triple.

The Tiger pitching staff was awesome over the three-game winning streak. All three starters — Dobbs, Miranda and Perkins — went the distance and combined to allow only one run on a total of eight hits over the 20-inning stretch.

District begins Tuesday ...