There have been plenty of good pitchers to come out of the state of Texas, and the spectators at City Pond Park may have seen one of the next top hurlers out of the Lone Star State on Sunday.
Chris Booth took the mound for Texas in the Newton County team's debut in the Dixie Boys World Series, much to the home team's chagrin as it fell 4-1.
Booth pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up one run, allowing three hits, walking just two and striking out seven Newton County batters.
"It's hard to win ball games when you only have three hits," Newton County coach Denny Hewell said.
Booth was able to both blow some pitches by the Newton County batters, along with keeping them off balance with a strong curve ball.
"He made big pitches when he needed," Hewell said. "He threw very hard and his curveball complemented his fastball."
While Booth was dealing, Newton County's pitching seemed to be equally up to the task. Greg Ritchey started, going two innings with two strikeouts. To keep under the 40-pitch rule Dixie Boys has in order to pitch in the next game, Newton County went with Blake Shope on the mound to start the third inning.
Shope went three innings, striking out six and allowing zero earned runs. However, his defense ran into a tough fifth inning, committing four errors while Texas compiled three hits to take the lead for good.
Booth opened the inning by reaching on an error by the shortstop, moved to second on stole base and third on a balk. Dustin Hendrix' single brought him home. Hendrix moved to second on an error by the shortstop. Andre Ling reached on a fielder's choice and Peyton Stewart went to third on an error by the third baseman.
Carson Seaga brought two Texas runners home with a single, scoring Hendrix and King. Stewart scored on an error before Kurt Wilson, who started the inning with a strikeout, ended it with Texas up 4-1.
Newton County, which managed just three hits, couldn't overcome the error-filled inning.
The home team opened the scoring in the fourth inning as Phillip Rowe led off with a walk, and after reaching second, scored on an error by Texas' second baseman.
Rowe, Jake Jones and Shope were the only batters to manage a hit for Newton County, something Hewell said it will have to improve on if it is to stay alive in the World Series.
"We're going to have to pitch again; were going to have to hit and play good defense," Hewell said.
Newton will play in the elimination bracket today against Mississippi at 4 p.m.