Pine Tree returned home to the Field of Dreams for a District 15-5A game on Tuesday night, and towered over Tyler in a 2-0 win.
The Pirates improved their overall season record to 6-11 and district mark to 2-1, while the Lions dropped to 2-10-2 and 0-3 respectively.
Max Gidden helped Pine Tree start on the right note when he struck out Tyler’s Ja’Davion Lacy in the top of the first inning, and produced a RBI single that sent Collin Estes home for an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Gidden finished his complete game shutout performance with 10 strikeouts, and earned a two-for-three hitting performance, RBI, run and steal.
“Max threw exceptional today,” Pine Tree head baseball coach Brock Lemire said. “We weren’t hitting well. Our defense was okay. But, he was out there throwing strikes and doing well at the plate. He was big for us.”
The Pirates put more pressure on Tyler in the bottom of the second because Brooks Brown was hit by a pitch with no outs, moved to second base on Cale Skinner’s single to centerfield, and eventually advanced to third on a throwing error, but it wasn’t enough to break through for another run.
That’s because Lions’ starting pitcher Dante Martinez got out of the jam when he struck out Jose Aranda and Dean McMillen, and forced Caden Donley’s inning-ending flyout.
Martinez ultimately struck out 15 batters over six innings, and also went three-for-four as a hitter.
Tyler nearly responded in the top of the third inning because Martinez singled, Malachi Deleon walked, and Tory Howland was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
But, Gidden also struck out three Tyler batters in the frame. Thomas McMann and Lacy were retired on the first two punch outs, and Avery Coleman only saw three pitches.
The pitching duel continued because Martinez struck out two Pine Tree batters in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings, and Gidden forced a one-two-three Tyler top of the fourth frame.
The Lions tried to change that in the top of the fifth because Martinez produced a one-out single to left field, advanced to second base on Deleon’s sacrifice groundout, and moved to third base on a wild pitch, but Gidden once again kept them off the scoreboard when he struck out Lacy for the third straight at-bat.
Martinez continued to keep his Tyler team in the game because he struck out a Pine Tree side that included McMillen, Donley and Estes in the bottom of the fifth.
But, his wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth allowed Gidden to come home for a 2-0 Pine Tree lead.