A fast start helped Hurst L.D. Bell pick up a 4-2 victory over Grapevine on Tuesday in the District 6-5A opener for both teams.
Bell (13-3, 1-0 6-5A) scored two runs in both the second and third innings to give starter Bryce Kidwell plenty of cushion.
Chad Adams reached on a leadoff walk to open the second inning. Adams scored on an RBI double by Chad Williams, who was driven in by Riley Ferguson.
The first two batters of the third inning also scored for Bell, as a series of walks and singles pushed John Mark Garner and Trevor Ward home.
“I thought we had some good at-bats early on,” Bell coach Paul Gibson said. “We left some people on and their guy did a good job of pitching out of some jams early. He settled in, and we couldn’t quite get to him.”
Kidwell used his fastball to stay ahead of batters through the first half of the game, but gave up two runs in the fourth inning to Grapevine (8-9, 0-1).
Right fielder Grant McClelland led off the inning with a first-pitch home run over the left field wall on a slider Kidwell left high in the strike zone.
The homer was followed by a single and a Drake Adair double on another pitch left high by Kidwell.
A trip to the mound by Gibson helped get Kidwell back into the rhythmt that got Bell the lead.
“[Gibson] came out there and said to stop letting them get ahead of you,” Kidwell said. “You go after them and I got back in it.”
Kidwell faced just one batter over the minimum in the final three innings, walking one batter in the bottom of the seventh.
He leaned more on a slider through those frames.
“He did a good job of commanding all three pitches,” Gibson said. “Balls that he left up, those are the ones they hit hard, but he did a good job of not giving them anything. He made them earn it.”