With two tournament wins in the past few weeks under their belts, Verden baseball extended that to three with a pair of overwhelming wins in district over Temple.
The Tigers, who hosted the best two out of three series Thursday, stormed through to regionals after a shaky start to game one. Both were run-rule wins, with Alex Whitlow hitting a home run in each game to spark the offensive surge.
"After we started making a couple of plays, working as a team, we all got the sticks going," Whitlow said. "I started to feel more comfortable at the plate, and I just let it flow. I'm glad, because we can't let teams jump up on us like that."
Verden had a hole to climb out of early. A slow defensive start gave way to two runs after a leadoff triple from pitcher Marco Laguna. Dalton Dennison hit him across before Johnny Holdan crossed home on a wild pitch.
One run was all the Tigers could muster for a first inning response, and soon they found themselves down by four. Another leadoff triple, this time from Terrence Tisdale who later crossed home to start a three-run rally. Brock Calfy’s two-RBI single in the second took Temple to a 5-1 lead. Verden cut it to three in the bottom half of the inning.
Temple was held to a three up, three down in the third, when Verden struck back for good. Chris Patterson reached first on a dropped third strike, but he wasn’t there for long. Pitcher Alex Whitlow made amends for the five runs in the first two innings with a home run over the right field fence to take the deficit to just one.
After that, hitting seemed to come much easier. Still in the bottom of the third, Hunter Morgan’s RBI single tied the game.