Zach Flanagan couldn’t have asked for a better to start to his senior season.
The Robert E. Lee righty struck out the first three batters he faced and chalked up another seven after that in a three-hitter as the Red Raiders defeated Kilgore 10-0 in five innings Thursday in the Rose City Baseball Classic at Mike Carter Field.
“We won Tuesday against Marshall and the momentum carried over to this one,” said Flanagan, a Howard College signee. “Thanks for the fans coming out; coach (David) Howard is a great coach and 2-0 is the right way to start.”
Lee (2-0) scored three runs in the first inning off of one hit, added four in the second, one in the fourth and two in the fifth off a two-run double by Flanagan. The game was called after that because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Trace Reed had a double, two walks, three runs scored and two stolen bases with Ben Romines going 2 for 3 with two singles and two runs scored. Ross Himes drove in a run with a groundout and scored twice.
“It was one of those situations where once you get the first one going, everyone just jumps in line,” said Howard, who is 2-0 in his first two games as Lee head coach. “That’s what happened tonight.”
It was the opening day of the 22nd Annual Rose City Classic, which was thrown off a little by early-morning showers.
This caused Lee’s first game scheduled for the afternoon to be cancelled. Nacogdoches beat Sulphur Springs 5-4 in the rescheduled first game of the day with the Dragons then beating Lufkin Hudson 2-0. Carthage downed Kilgore 12-1 in five innings before Lee took the field for the final game of the night.
Flanagan mowed through three Kilgore batters in the top of the first before the Red Raiders went in front 3-0 in the bottom of the inning. Himes drove in the first run with Flanagan and Romines scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.
Robert E. Lee 10, Kilgore 0 (5 innings)
Kilgore 000 00 — 0 3 5 3
Lee 340 12 — 10 6 0
Nolan Grush, Seth Whisenhunt (4) and Jake Brantley; Zach Flanagan and Tyler Jones. W – Flanagan (1-0). L – Grush (0-1). 2B – KIL: Da’Quayvia Brewster. REL: Trace Reed, Flanagan. SB – REL: Reed (2), Ben Romines, Blake Hamblett.
RECORDS – Kilgore 0-3; Robert E. Lee 2-0
NEXT UP – Kilgore vs. Hallsville, 7 p.m. Friday; Lee vs. Forney, 4:45 p.m. Friday.
Rose City Classic
Nacogdoches 5, Sulphur Springs 4
Nacogdoches 2, Lufkin Hudson 0
Carthage 12, Kilgore 1
Robert E. Lee 10, Kilgore 0
Nacogdoches vs. Hallsville, 10 a.m.
Lufkin Hudson vs. Sulphur Springs, 12:15 p.m.
Carthage vs. Forney 2:30 p.m.
Robert E. Lee vs. Forney, 4:45 p.m.
Lufkin Hudson vs. Kilgore, 7 p.m.