By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
BOONEVILLE – You would have never guessed Houston freshman Reid Carter was making the first varsity appearance of his young career Monday night by looking at him on the mound.
Staying calm and composed, Carter threw a complete-game two hitter in the Hilltoppers’ 11-3 win over the host Blue Devils in the Booneville Spring Break Tournament.
“He’s got that mentality of a young kid that doesn’t know any better,” Houston coach Scott Gann said. “He throws tons of strikes and gives himself a chance with a pretty good defense.”
Carter carried a no-hitter through four innings before Kyle Smith dropped a bloop single down the first base line to lead off the fifth.
After Smith’s hit, Carter walked the next two before Andrew Lambert unloaded the bases with a sharply hit triple to right-centerfield.
Even in this adverse situation, Carter collected himself and struck out the next two batters to escape the inning without further harm. He totaled nine strikeouts in the game.
“He kept us off balance the whole game,” said Booneville (4-6) coach Bo Sandlin. “I was very impressed with how hard they played tonight.”
Houston took advantage of eight Blue Devil errors with two separate five-run innings. In the second, Kody Kimbrough’s bases-clearing double put Houston up 5-0.
Ross Moore and Blake Johns had run scoring hits in the fourth that helped the Hilltoppers advance their lead to 10-0 and chase Booneville starter Joseph Caver (0-2).
Houston seems to be finding their stride at a good time as division play hits full force next week. The win was the seventh straight for the Hilltoppers after starting the season with three losses in a row.
“It’s feels amazing, especially considering we have a couple of injured players,” said Carter. “But I think we’re gonna be better than ever.”