AC News Service
Angelina College freshman pitcher Matt Roberts is more than a little familiar with the bump in the middle of the infield at Roadrunner Field. As a high school pitcher for New Waverly, Roberts led his Bulldogs on a long post-season march in which several games took place at AC's field.
So maybe the dirt there is his lucky charm. Hard to argue following Roberts' beauty of a collegiate debut on Friday.
Roberts tossed five and 1/3 perfect innings, leaving in the sixth inning with a no-hitter intact, and reliever Josh Keith finished off the Temple Leopards to preserve the no-no and give the Roadrunners a 5-0 win in the nightcap.
In his time on the hill, Roberts struck out six Temple hitters, with his closest call a sharp grounder off the bat of Temple's Kevin Lock in the fifth. The ball appeared headed for left field, but Roadrunner shortstop C.J. Jarvis made a spectacular backhand play, throwing from deep in the hole to nail Lock at first.
That was the best the Leopards would get from Roberts, who eventually gave way to Keith. Keith, another freshman, walked the first Leopard he faced before shutting the next three in succession.
The ‘Runners scratched and clawed their way to put those five runs on the board: Of those five, only one came via RBI, with Grant Jaster driving in Seth Spivey with a fifth-inning fielder's choice. The remainder of AC's runs came courtesy of four wild pitches and two errors by the Leopards.
AC's win in the nightcap was a nice recovery from an 8-1 loss in the opener. In a game in which pretty much nothing went right for the Roadrunners, Temple took an 8-1 decision with the help of six ‘Runner errors. Grant Jaster drove in C.J. Jarvis with AC's only run on an RBI single in the first inning; after that, Temple posted four-runs in each of the third and fourth innings to take the win.
The Roadrunners (1-1) are right back in action on Saturday, with a doubleheader against Panola scheduled for 2 p.m. at Roadrunner Complex in Lufkin.
Gary L. Stallard