Kristan captures 200th baseball career win
By Taylor Grafft
April 28 wasn’t just a special night for the four seniors playing their final home game at Liberty Hill, it also turned out to be a career milestone for Panthers’ coach Mike Kristan, who achieved his 200th career win with a 1-0, extra inning win over Llano.
“It just means I’ve been here a long time,” Kristan joked. “It has to do with the kids. To be able to coach the types of kids we have and be successful. The kids appreciate winning.”
After the game, Kristan joked that some of the older siblings of his current players were a part of Kristan’s 100th career win. So it’s not farfetched to think their young siblings will be a part of his 300th career win in the near future.
“There were three kids on this team that their older brothers helped get me my 100th win,” Kristan said. “Obviously there’s some genetics that stayed around long enough that I reap the benefit from it. It also has a lot to do with my administration and Coach (Jerry) Vance being confident in me over these 12 years. Also my family supporting me. But it’s always fun to hit a milestone.”
Junior Slater Foust played a huge role in helping Kristan secure that milestone by pitching a one-hit shutout and driving in the game-winning run in extra innings.
“Slater has pitched well all year,” Kristan said. “He’s struggled a little at the plate this year for his standards, but he had confidence to swing at the first pitch and then come out and hit one hard on the ground.
“We’ve been close a lot this year and it’s always good for the kids to experience this, especially going into playoffs,” Kristan added. “To be 5-5 and in fourth place, that tells you how good the district is this year. Last year our fourth place team went into the playoffs at 3-7. That tells you about the competition we’ve faced all year and I think the kids know that.”