Ashcraft Pitches Robinson Past Madisonville

Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

CAMERON, TX - The Robinson Rockets (25-3-1) took on the Madisonville Mustangs (26-8) on Wednesday night at a neutral site in Cameron to play a one-game playoff in the UIL 4A Regional Quarterfinals. There were a handful of MLB Scouts in to see two of the top ranked pitchers in the state. 2018 RHP Braxton Ashcraft (Baylor) took the mound for the Robinson Rockets, while 2018 RHP Matt Rudis (TCU) toed the rubber for the Madisonville Mustangs.

In the top of the first, Madisonville’s Ben Phillips laced a first pitch fastball to centerfield for a one out triple. But Ashcraft got a pop up and a punchout to strand Phillips at third base.

In the bottom half of the inning, Robinson’s leadoff hitter, sophomore shortstop Jordan Rogers, came to the plate ready to hit, sending the first pitch he saw from Rudis deep to left field for a solo home run. 1-0 Robinson.

That score held up until the bottom of the sixth, when the Rockets added an insurance run on an RBI single from 2018 OF Mason Cooper. 2-0 Robinson.

Both starters gave their clubs a chance to win on Wednesday night. Rudis took the hard luck loss, exiting the game after 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six.

But it was Ashcraft and the Rockets that prevailed in the 2-0 win. The Baylor commit threw a complete game shutout with nine punchouts, four hits and three walks.


Ashcraft: (W) 7 IP, 110 P, 4 H, 0 R, 9 K, 3 BB
Rogers: 2-2, HR, RBI, R
Cooper: 2-4
Strain: 2-4
Villa: 1-3

Matt Rudis: (L) 5.2 IP, 104 P, 6 H, 2 R, 6 K, 4 BB
Phillips: 1-4
Poe: 1-3
Hudson: 1-2
Williamson: 1-3


Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Robinson HS, 2018
Baylor commit. Ashcraft stands approximately 6-foot-6, 190-pounds, with a long-limbed, athletic, lean-muscular, projectable pitcher’s frame. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a long, loose arm swing, and relative ease down the mound with an athletic delivery. His fastball sat mostly 91-92 in the first, hitting 93, 94, and 95 once a piece, flashing sinking action at the bottom of the zone. Throws two different breaking balls, an 11/5 curveball at 76-79 mph, and an 80-84 mph slider with 10-4 shape. Had pinpoint control early in the game, working quickly through the opposing lineup. Threw a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts, allowing only four hits and 3 walks (2 in the last two innings). Made several defensive plays coming off the mound, including one in the seventh on a comebacker when he turned and threw a strike to get the lead runner at third base, not allowing the tying run to get into scoring position. His velocity held up throughout the game, sitting 90-92 for the entire night, still able to hit 93 several times late in the game. With his athleticism, projectable frame, loose arm, and feel for spin, Ashcraft has a ton of upside. Ranked No. 9 in the Texas 2018 ClassNo. 40 Overall, and No. 117 on the PBR Draft Board.

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