SHERMAN — The American National Bank Ardmore Cardinals closed out the Austin/Grayson Invitational with a split on Sunday at Veterans Field.
The Cardinals lost to the Allen (Texas) Wranglers 5-2, then defeated United Baseball 3-0, scrapping for runs but playing more complete games than their error-filled Saturday contests.
With a roster spot open and the heat taking a toll on some of his catchers, Cardinals coach Bubba Tamez picked up Travis Hallum of Marietta, who caught both games for the Cardinals. Hallum also singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Crites in the third inning against the Wranglers.
Hallum was 2-for-5 in two games Sunday.
"To give us some depth at that position, it was really good to have him," Tamez said. "I really thought he did a good job for us. To get a hit against that level of pitching as an underclassman, I was really impressed with him."
Devin Hartman (Plainview) drove in Cade Carter (Colbert) on an RBI double in the seventh inning. Scott Brinkley (Tushka) scattered eight hits and gave up five runs on the mound.
"He battled through and gave us the complete game, but they hit him a little bit," Tamez said of Brinkley. "But we didn't have the walks and the errors like we did yesterday. It was a much cleaner baseball game."
Both games were cleaner for the Cardinals compared to Saturday, when they walked 14 batters and committed eight errors. The Cardinals only had one error Sunday.
"I'd rather split and play like we did today than win two and play like we did yesterday," Tamez said.
Even without three of the top four hitters in their lineup on Sunday and pitchers Garrett Edwards (ankle) and Hunter Stephens (illness) unavailable, the Cardinals were able to post a shutout in the tournament finale against United.
The Cardinals scored all three of their runs in the sixth inning. Cade Clay (Rattan) led off with a single, Gage Goff (Rose State/Madill) followed with a single and Brinkley added an RBI hit for the 1-0 lead. Carter advanced runners with a sacrifice bunt, Jake Patterson (Kingston) scored Goff on an RBI groundout and Brinkley scored the final run on a passed ball.
Clay finished 3-for-4 in Game 2.
Goff was strong on the mound, tossing five innings of one-hit ball with eight strikeouts. Goff struck out the side in the bottom of the third, followed by two more punchouts in the fourth to make it five in a row. Hunter Evans (Coleman) worked the final two innings for the save.
"He was hitting spots with his fastball, hitting spots with his breaking pitches. Gage Goff was our best player this weekend," Tamez said. "It was just an all-around good pitching performance by those two."
The Cardinals (7-9) won three of six at the Austin/Grayson Tournament and have won five of eight.
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