Roos rout Crowley in district opener

Mar. 12—WEATHERFORD — Following an impressive run through their pre-district tournament schedule, the Weatherford Kangaroos baseball team hosted the Crowley Eagles to open up district play Tuesday night.

"Our kids have really had a never-say-die attitude, and we've probably already come from behind five or six times this year," Roos head coach Jason Lee said. "We're never going to get up and they've been competing. We've pitched well through some injuries, we've had some other guys step up — I feel pretty good about our pitching staff."

The Roos saw senior pitcher C.J. Thornton start from the mound for the first time this season, and as Thornton delivered from the bump, Weatherford's bats remained red hot early and often as the home team rolled to a 23-1 victory in five innings via run rule.

"I felt pretty good and felt like I prepared myself pretty well after playing in all the tournaments we've had," Thornton said. "I felt very prepared to start his game and knew that I had a great defense behind my back — that helped me."

Crowley loaded the bases in the top of the first inning that forced Thornton to work out of a jam with just one out. Despite that, the senior remained poised on the mound, striking out three of the last four batters he faced in the frame to keep the game scoreless.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Weatherford bats came alive and remained active. Senior leadoff hitter J.T. Cienega drew a walk and junior shortstop Colton McClure doubled to put runners in scoring position. Cienega scored on a passed ball to give Weatherford an early 1-0 lead, and the floodgates opened afterwards.

Senior third baseman Joel Gonzales drove McClure across home plate after hitting an RBI groundout to first base, and senior first baseman Chase Rodgers cleared the bases with an RBI double that plated three more runs. Following Rodgers' big hit, Cienega returned to the plate and smacked a two-out RBI double to center that stretched the lead to 7-0. Weatherford's scoring spree concluded with RBI doubles from sophomore catcher Jett Vindiola and junior outfielder Landon Boone that increased the lead to 12-0.

"We've been hitting the ball well, but I don't want to speak too soon," Lee said. "We've played well to this point, so hopefully we can just continue that."

In the following four innings, Weatherford nearly doubled its run total and allowed one Crowley run in the top of the fourth inning for the final score.

The Roos (13-3, 1-0) will take the field again at 7 p.m. Friday at Crowley.