Written by Corbett Smith
Hurst Bell pitching depth pays off
No. 3 starter throws two-hit shutout to lift Bell past Coppell
COPPELL — Hurst L.D. Bell’s district, 6-5A, was the only area district to regularly schedule three games a week during the district season. Most scheduled just two.
L.D. Bell coach Paul Gibson pointed to that as a distinct reason for his team's 7-0 win in Saturday’s Game 3 of its Class 5A area-round series with Coppell.
"We've used all three of our guys [starting pitchers] all year," Gibson said. "And it helped us out today."
L.D. Bell's No. 3 starter, Weston Sims, pitched a complete-game two-hitter.
After loading the bases in the first inning and getting out of danger with a double play, Sims didn't allow a base runner to reach second the rest of the game.
"We had a lot of confidence going into that third game," Sims said. "To me, it's the best game I've pitched all year."
L.D. Bell will play district rival Colleyville Heritage in next weekend's Region I quarterfinals.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Coppell forced Game 3 as Jake Elliott held L.D. Bell to five hits in a shutout, striking out five en route to a 4-0 win.
Coppell's Tyler Zabonjik hit a three-run double, driving in three unearned runs in the second inning after L.D. Bell committed an error that could have ended the inning. L.D. Bell's hitters did little better; its first three batters went 1-for-9 with two strikeouts.
As discouraging as that might have been, Gibson between games pointed to "all the sweat" his team had put in to get to this point.
"He reminded us how much work we put into this season, how much this would mean to us if we did what we did out here," shortstop Colten Daniels said.
Gibson's pep talk worked.
In Game 3, L.D. Bell (29-9) scored three runs in a decisive second inning, on a solo home run by Cullen Gassaway, a walk with the bases loaded and an error.
L.D. Bell tacked on more runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh, with No. 9 hitter Daniels hitting his first home run of the year, a two-run shot in the fifth.