By Larry Johnson

For The Record

The West Orange Stark Mustangs have shut-out the top seed El Campo Ricebirds 8-0 to advance to the final round of the Class 4A UIL State Baseball Championship on Thursday at Disch Falk Field at the University of Texas in Austin.

The Mustangs (27-10)  will take on the Argyle Eagles who defeated Abiline Willie (22-5) 9-4 in their state semifinal round.

It was a superb performance by Mustang senior pitcher Aidan Anderson along with twin brother catcher Grant Anderson. Aidan pitched a stellar 11 strikeouts, giving up just one hit and walked one. He also scored the first run for the Mustangs. At the plate Grant Anderson batted for four RBI’s that included a double and a triple. Jack Dallas also had an RBI double. Defensively the Mustangs had no errors in the contest.

In the second inning Aidan Anderson drew a walk and was advanced to second base on a K.J. Miller bunt. With two men on base Chase Rutledge bunt advanced Aidan Anderson to third base. Anderson took advantage of a wild pitch to dash home for the Mustang’s first score.

The contest remained 1-0 until an explosive four run fifth inning for the Mustangs. Ryan Ragsdale singled and advanced to third base on a bunt by Kalen Garrett. Grant Lapoint-Teate was hit by a pitch putting Mustang runners on first and third.  Payton Robertson got a hit that scored Ragsdale. With Robertson on second Grant Anderson smacked an RBI triple scoring Robertson for a 3-0 lead. Designated runner Darren Blagburn replaced Anderson at third base. Jack Dallas doubled to score Blagburn. Aidan Anderson nailed an RBI single to score Dallas ending the inning with a 5-0 lead.

In the top of the sixth inning Rutledge walked followed by Ragsdale who also walked. Rutledge stole third but was thrown out while attempting to steal home. Chad Dallas got on base batting for the injured Lapoint-Teat. Grant Anderson then came to the plate to smack a three run double to scoring Ragsdale, Rutledge and Dallas and sealing the 8-0 victory for the WOS Mustangs.

Photo – WOS pitcher Aidan Anderson threw 11 strikeouts in the 8-0 shutout victory over El Campo in the semifinal round of the state baseball tournament.