Pitcher paces Birdville past Centennial in opener

Posted Saturday, May. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Jordan Martinson took the mound Friday night with a simple game plan: throw strikes and get the game over with as quick as possible.

The junior from Birdville did just that, shutting out Burleson Centennial 2-0 on 77 pitches as the Hawks took Game 1 of the best-of-three Class 4A Region I area-round playoff series at Saginaw Chisholm Trail High School.

The Hawks (22-8-1) and Spartans (15-16-3) square off at noon Saturday in Game 2 of the series at the same location. A deciding third game, if needed, will follow 30 minutes after Game 2.

Martinson (11-1) allowed one hit, a second-inning single by Tanner Dent. The left-hander struck out six and walked three in a game that lasted just over 1 hour, 30 minutes.

“That was definitely the quickest game I’ve ever pitched,” Martinson said.

Birdville staked Martinson to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. With one out, Patrick King singled home leadoff hitter Robert Salazar. Salazar was hit to open the inning and then stole second.

“Pitching with a lead is always something you look forward to,” Martinson said.

The Hawks added an insurance run in the fourth when King singled with one out and moved to third on a two-base error. Richard Kidwell singled in King, but Centennial starter Jared Thacker worked out of a runners at second and third jam to keep the deficit at 2-0.

Through the middle innings, Martinson retired 15 of 17 Spartans. He walked Brad Sugg in the fourth and then walked Sugg to open the seventh. But he induced a double play on the next pitch and got a groundout to end the game.

“Jordan is good at coming right at you,” Birdville coach Vance Bonner said. “If you get him a lead he will take care of you.”

Thacker was the hard-luck loser. The senior scattered five hits over six innings. He fanned four and walked one.

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