Scott Carter talks 600th career win, growth of Port Neches-Groves team
Published 12:24 am Tuesday, April 12, 2022
PORT NECHES — Port Neches-Groves 600th career win baseball coach Scott Carter added to his already impressive resume this past weekend. The state champion coach earned his 600th career win with a 5-4 decision over Crosby on Friday.
“It is a big victory,” Carter said of the milestone. “A lot of people played a big part in that. It just proves that I am old and that I have been doing this a long time. Longevity will get you big numbers.”
PNG fell 8-1 to Crosby earlier in the week, but bounced back for a home showing.
The home team jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Cougars in the fourth inning but Crosby regained the lead 3-2 in the sixth.
In the seventh inning, both teams were knotted up at 4-4 and stayed that way heading into the ninth.
With the game on the line, Cole Crippen stepped up to the plate for PNG and knocked in a walk-off single to drive in Tommy Reed. Landon Guarnere was the winning pitcher and Crippen finished 2-for-4 at the plate with Reed hitting 2-for-3.
Carter said his team has matured since the start of the season.
“This group of kids were young when we started,” he said. “They are experienced now. We have been playing a lot of baseball. They are growing up fast and learning fast. I am proud of where we sit in district. I am proud of the way they competed the other night. I don’t know what it going to happen down the road. They have played a daunting schedule, but I think they are going to give me their best effort.”
Crippen said he is happy to be a part of the milestone victory.
“That game was, hands down, the best win for such a milestone,” he said. “I had a rough day at the plate that game. As soon as the inning hit, I flushed my previous at bats and focused on getting the runner from second to home. A walk-off is something all kids wish for and it was a great feeling to get the win that way.”
Carter said the team has multiple players that step up each game.
“It can be anybody in the lineup,” he said. “I just want them to be able to finish. I want them to get through and see what they can do. If they do what I think they are capable of, I think we have a shot to get in here and I am excited about that.”
Crippen said the team is special.
“We don’t give up,” he said. “It reminds me of football season. Young kids with a lot of growing up to do and defining all odds everyone put against us. Each day at practice we want to get better and love being there.”
PNG entered the week in first place in the district due to, in part, not having a bye week yet. Their bye week will come after this week’s games against Barbers Hill.
Carter said his team has a challenge ahead of them with Barbers Hill and Galena Park and the horizon.
“We have two big series coming up,” he said. “I am looking forward to it.”