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Flames’ dominance is because of solid pitching, explosive hitting

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls baseball team is continuing to put up statistics that are leading to lopsided victories and shortened contests.

The latest was a 16-1 win against Bryan St. Joseph Catholic School on April 1 after the Flames (4-2, 2-0 Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) beat Bryan Allen Academy by the same 16-1 score March 25.

In both contests, sophomore pitcher Kade Shaw was on the mound. Against St. Joseph, Shaw struck out 10 of the 15 batters he faced, including the three at the top of the order in the first inning. Shaw threw a total of nine pitches to begin the contest. In all, 43 of the 52 pitches he threw that game were strikes.

Because the contests have ended in three innings and each is played a week apart, Shaw easily meets the safeguards of Texas high school pitchers of the minimum number of days between pitching outings and the number of pitches thrown.

“Because we’re in such a small district, we only play one district game a week,” head coach Zakk Revelle said. “We have him on a schedule that depends on how many pitches he throws. He gets two days of rest.”

Shaw has been performing at a high standard, and Revelle pointed out his teammates have, too. They include senior centerfielder Justin Mottle, senior shortstop Dylan Offutt, and freshman catcher Carter Fromberg.

“Carter has done a tremendous job,” the coach said. “And we have seniors who command the middle. The defense has done a great job of backing Kade up to help him out.”

The Flames realized the importance of that in a 6-5 loss to San Marcos Academy weeks earlier. A dropped third strike meant the batter decided to race to first base. Typically, the catcher stands up and makes an easy throw to first for the out. But the ball was overthrown, so the runner went to second. Pass balls allowed the runner to go to third and home.

“That was the difference in the game,” Revelle said of the loss. “That’s something we talked about from the beginning, We want to make every routine play. We don’t want to beat us — they have taken on that attitude.”

The coach said the Flames’ batting order features athletes capable of getting a multiple-base hit or can bunt to generate runs. Senior Case Coleman, who is playing baseball for the first time this year, has become a dangerous bunter, Revelle said.

“You want to give yourself a chance at the plate,” he said. “We don’t have kids who only play baseball. We’re taking the attitude of ‘let’s make the other teams get us out.’ People are trying to make contact. They’re hustling, and we’re very aggressive on the base paths. Let’s challenge the catcher and see if he can throw.”

Revelle noted the new batting cage has been huge in helping the Flames at the plate, who participated in its assembly.

“We weren’t hitting the ball all that well,” he said. “But when we got the batting cage, it turned into a tremendous blessing for us. And with live pitching, it’s been a tremendous blessing.”

From the beginning of the season, the Flames have made it no secret they want to win the district championship to match the two they earned in football and basketball. While Faith has numerous district titles on the girdiron and hardwood, the athletics department hasn’t won a championship on the diamond.

“Those guys are playing for the guys who played before them,” Revelle said. “They’re taking it to heart every single day. They want to be the team that takes care of business. They’re also trying to forge something for themselves.”

The Flames travel to play San Marcos Hill Country at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8, at San Marcos Academy, 2801 RR 12 in San Marcos.

Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports on Fierro’s YouTube channel by searching for The Broad Podcaster.

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