Having its senior ace on the bump and last-place Greenville in the visitor’s dugout Friday night, it was time for Sherman’s baseball team to make some hay.

Having its senior ace on the bump and last-place Greenville in the visitor’s dugout Friday night, it was time for Sherman’s baseball team to make some hay.

With some timely hits and sparkling defensive plays supporting him, that’s exactly what Case Rolen and the Bearcats did.

Using a snappy curveball, the Dallas Baptist signee pitched a three-hit complete-game shutout and fanned a dozen as the Bearcats (15-10, 4-3) maintained their playoff foothold to end the first leg of District 13-4A play with a 3-0 win over the plucky Lions at Veterans Field.

"The wind helped me out, but I kept the ball down and the defense did the work behind me," said Rolen, who threw 105 pitches. "I threw bullpen a couple of days ago, and I got my mechanics back down and just felt confident tonight."

Sherman head coach Jason Wright said Rolen’s curve was flat early on, but got much better as the evening progressed.

"He does some funky stuff every now and then with (his curve)," Wright said. "He threw too many pitches in the sixth inning. Other than that, pretty good."

Catcher Will Olson had two of Sherman’s three runs batted in, on a groundout in the third inning and a line single to right in the sixth. Olson, who is headed for Texas-Arlington, also gunned down two base stealers.

Sophomore Jordan Henry, who was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored two runs, gave the Bearcats a huge insurance run with his RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth.

Providing a promising glimpse into the future of Bearcat baseball, Sherman’s trio of starting freshmen also figured heavily in Friday’s victory.

David Bedgood and Jack LeCrone both made big contributions at the plate, each going 2-for-3. Bedgood reached base all four times up, and LeCrone had a single and a double.

A heads-up play by Bedgood at second base resulted in the lead runner being cut down in the fourth inning; and centerfielder Brayshon Savage, yet another freshman, threw a 200-foot strike to third base to nail a runner to end the top of the third.

"Those guys, they’re all baseball players," Wright said. "It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can be 14 or 18 or whatever. Will Olson was doing that when he was 14 years old. People worry about how old you are sometimes, but those guys are baseball players."

Thanks to those two plays, Greenville (6-14, 1-6) never advanced a runner beyond second base.

Rolen, a rare grizzled veteran in Sherman’s lineup alongside battery mate Olson, prevailed in a duel with Greenville lefthander Travis Koger, who struck out seven in the loss.

Koger surrendered seven hits and walked six, but was able to pitch out of trouble several times and stranded 10 Sherman base runners.

"That kid can throw," Wright said of Koger. "(McKinney) North beat him 1-0 last week."

The Bearcats broke on top in the third inning as the speedy Henry legged out a grounder deep in the hole at short, advanced to third on Bedgood’s single which was misplayed by Lions leftfielder Mason Burk for the only error of the night, and scored on Olson’s groundout to second.

In the top of the fourth, Greenville catcher Justin Koger doubled to right with one out and was replaced by courtesy runner Jake Adel.

The next batter, Luke Dyer, hit a grounder to Bedgood, who saw Adel stray off the bag at second and threw to shortstop Kyle Maxwell covering, who threw to Grant Jones at third for the tagout on a rundown to preserve a 1-0 edge.

"That changed the complexion of the whole inning," Wright said.

That’s how the score remained until the sixth, when the Cats finally were able to widen the cushion against a tiring Koger.

With two out, Henry crushed one into the gap in right-center to score Drew Rome, who had led off with a pinch-hit walk. After Bedgood walked, the lefty-hitting Olson pulled one past second base and into right for the final RBI.

Including Friday night’s victory, the Bearcats have five of their final eight district games at home. The Cats are three wins ahead of last season’s pace at the district midpoint as they get Tuesday night off and get ready for McKinney North at the Vet next Friday.

"Our No. 1 thing was to get off to a better start," Wright said. "Obviously 4-3 is a lot better than 1-6. But … the second half is a whole different animal. Everybody in our league has an ace, and everybody’s got a catcher. We feel like ours are the best two. That may be up to debate, but that’s how I feel."