SOFTBALL: South San keeps faith for upset win over Southwest in 28-5A opener

Errors, walks plague Dragons in loss

Southwest had just put together one of the big innings the program is known for when South San coach Rosemary Morales decided her team needed a bit of inspiration, and perspective.

The Dragons, No. 4 in the Express-News area rankings, broke a 1-1 tie and built a four-run lead. South San, which hadn’t defeated perennial District 28-5A champion Southwest in at least seven years, had seen that type of rally many times in the past few years. This time, the Bobcats (9-6-1, 1-0) decided it wouldn’t crush them.

South San manufactured a six-run rally of its own and never trailed Southwest (14-7, 0-1) again. The Bobcats went on to a 13-8 victory last Thursday in the 28-5A opener for both teams at South San Field.

“The girls were probably doubting themselves, being down 5-1,” the second-year Bobcats coach said. “They were back to ‘everybody comes back and beats you.’

“That hit by Nikki (Velasquez) was so important. I told them, ‘Who says you can’t beat this team?’ “

An RBI single from No. 9 hitter Amanda Sanchez, a sacrifice fly by senior Liz Phillips and an RBI single from Kayla Arguello had staked Southwest to a 5-1 lead midway through the second inning.

Back-to-back, run-scoring doubles from Velasquez and freshman Alyssa Montes, who was the winning pitcher, enabled South San to respond with a six-run rally. Velasquez’s double to right field sent home two runs.

The Bobcats never trailed again.

“We’ve come together as a team,” Velasquez said. “We had our ups and downs at the beginning. Defense is something we’ve worked on.

“It’s exciting. We’ve come a long, long way. Winning our first district game is just the start of it.”

Southwest was within 10-8 in the top of the fifth. Pinch-hitter Krystal Flores delivered a two-run single to center field that closed the gap. South San pitcher Montes initiated a force out at third base on the previous at-bat and then recorded a strikeout to escape the threat.

A two-run double from senior Desirae Duncan in the bottom of the inning effectively put the game out of the Dragons’ reach. Southwest was hampered by four errors.

“That wasn’t the Southwest Dragons,” Southwest coach Sandra Hernandez said. “It wasn’t the same team. On the other hand, South San played really well.

“It was kind of a domino effect. Errors started it, then we had problems with our pitching, and after that we couldn’t hit.”

South San, behind freshman pitcher Montes, kept the Dragons in check over the last two innings to record arguably the biggest win in the program’s recent history.

“Our kids hadn’t been hitting like that,” Morales said. “That was the first time came out and hit all game long – and we had aggressive running on the bases.

“The girls knew the importance of these games, especially this one.”

MORE TO COME

 

BASEBALL: Harlandale’s youth movement pays dividends against Kennedy

Senior lefty Zach Perez blanks Rockets

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

 

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Perez-pitches-shutout-in-Harlandale-win-5324428.php

 

The early season has been a baptism of fire for a sizable chunk of Harlandale’s roster, but the Indians’ youngsters seem to be getting the hang of varsity competition.

Harlandale (5-8, 1-2) has five freshmen and four sophomores who’ve been initiated into varsity play during the young season. Several of them made contributions last Thursday afternoon as Indians senior Zach Perez shut out Kennedy (5-7, 1-2) 5-0 at the Frank Tejeda Complex.

The Harlandale youngsters did the job offensively and defensively in support of the veteran left-hander, who limited the Rockets to six hits.

“They’re doing it all,” Harlandale coach Eric Forestier said of the underclassmen. “We had seniors on the mound, at first base and in right field. The rest are young.”

The Indians, who lost a heartbreaker in Floresville 4-3 Wednesday evening, only had four hits but made good use of them.

Freshman Robert Palomino singled and scored Harlandale’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Ramzey Martinez drew a walk and senior Brandon Ramon, in his fourth varsity season, reached base on an error behind him. Palomino scored on the error.

The Indians added to their total in the second with aggressive baserunning when Nathan Reyes was safe on a fielder’s choice and scored on an RBI single from freshman leadoff hitter Timothy Smith.

“We do put a lot of pressure on teams,” Forestier said. “I was glad we were able to bounce back, especially coming off a 4-3 loss to Floresville last night.

“We put the ball in play. Zach pitched well, and we executed today. That was the difference between today and last night.”

Trailing 2-0 after two innings, Kennedy already had squandered two of its three scoring opportunities.

Rockets Damon Lopez and Miguel Zamarripa were the game’s first two batters to the plate, and each delivered a single. They got no further than first place, as Perez picked off both of them in succession.

“That’s one of the few chances you get every now and then,” he said of the rare back-to-back pickoffs. “I saw the runners were way out, so I threw it, hoping to get them. They try to put the ball in play, and they hit really well. We made some good plays.”

Kennedy junior Isaiah Garcia led off the second with an infield single and advanced on Blade Alvarado’s sacrifice bunt. Garcia reached third on Jerry Raygoza’s grounder, but stalled there as Perez ended the threat with a strikeout.

“We made errors and we didn’t hit the ball,” Kennedy coach Erick Montes lamented. “And when we did get guys on base, they got picked (off). We worked on that yesterday. Our plan was to get a big lead but, as soon as they saw (Perez) pick up his feet, they were supposed to get back.

“Sometimes we look really good. And then, sometimes, we look like we’ve never played the game before. To have those two guys thrown out right away really hurt us.”

Harlandale batted around in the fourth and sent three runs across the plate.

Smith produced his second RBI single after Reyes reached base on an error. Another error put Christian Slocume on base, then Palomino was hit by a pitch.

A bases-loaded squeeze bunt by Martinez gave Harlandale a 4-0 cushion. Brandon Ramon singled, ach Perez drew his third walk of the game and freshman shortstop Joey Castaneda also walked. Eight consecutive Harlandale batters reached base.

“It feels good that I was able to get on base,” Perez said. “I helped myself out, too.”

The Indians scored their last run on an error. Despite its youth, Harlandale committed no errors.

“I think they got down on themselves because of the errors,” Montes said. “I think Harlandale only had one earned run. We’ve just been making too many errors, but all we do is work on defense and take batting practice.

“They played better than we did. The better team won today.”

Kennedy manufactured its best offensive opportunity in the fifth. Alvarado drew a leadoff walk and Raygoza followed with a double, sending the Rockets’ catcher to third base. However, Perez retired the next three batters in order to strand both runners in scoring position.

The Rockets produced a big win of their own six days earlier, defeating Uvalde 4-3 in eight innings.

“That was a big win,” Montes said. “The kids played well. They hit the ball and put the ball in play. We were up 4-0 and they made a comeback. We had a pop fly drop that would have been the third out.”

Perez knows he, Ramon and right fielder Alec Mendez have to set an example if Harlandale is to make up ground in the 29-4A race and qualify for the playoffs this year.

“I’ve got to be a team leader,” Perez said. “We have a lot of young freshman who are not used to high school ball. I’ve got to communicate and get them used to it.”

BASEBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Win at Uvalde keeps Cowboys on track for 29-4A first-place showdown

South San claims third-straight win; Highlands edges Lanier

TEAMS INCLUDED:Brackenridge, Edison, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, McCollum, Sam Houston, Southside.

McCollum (12-2, 3-0) kept its undefeated streak alive in District 29-4A Thursday with a 5-1 win at Uvalde (4-8, 1-2).

The Cowboys remained in a first-place tie with Medina Valley (12-2, 3-0), which defeated Southside 14-0 Thursday. The Panthers will play McCollum at the Frank Tejeda Complex at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Medina Valley triumphed 4-0 at at the Southwest Tournament Feb. 27 in their first meeting this year.

Thursday, Uvalde scored its run in the second inning. McCollum tied it in the third, but neither team scored again until the seventh. Then the Cowboys manufactured a four-run rally in the top half of the inning and held Uvalde in the bottom portion for the win.

McCollum senior pitcher Jesse Medina limited the Coyotes to three hits.

South San 8, Wagner 1

The Bobcats (10-5) won their third-consecutive game Thursday, smashing Wagner (2-11-1) in a non-district contest at South San.

South San senior pitcher John Gamez held the Thunderbirds to three hits and a third-inning run to pick up the victory. Wagner’s lone run tied the game 1-1.

The Bobcats scored the winning runs in the bottom of the inning. South San added to its 3-1 lead with a run in the fourth and four in the fifth.

South San also defeated MacArthur 9-6 Wednesday.

Lanier 2, Highlands 1 (8 innings)

The Voks (4-9, 1-3) worked overtime Thursday to notch its first District 28-4A victory and ease the sting of two previous losses during the week. Lanier defeated Highlands (7-7, 3-1) at SAISD Field No. 1.

Lanier drew first blood, with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Highlands manufactured the run that eventually pushed the game into extra innings in the fifth.

The Voks won it in the top of the eighth and senior pitcher Hector DeHoyos finished off his five-hitter to record the win.

John Garza, Brian Laque and Javier Lopez all had two hits for the Voks. Nicholas Mojica and Jeremiah Esquivel supplied RBIs.

Brackenridge 8, Edison 5

Tristen Cortinas drove in three runs, leading the Eagles (6-7, 2-1) to a District 28-4A win over Edison (1-10, 1-2) Friday at SAISD Field No. 2. Brackenridge absorbed its first district loss 12-1 to Brennan Friday.

Like the Golden Bears’ softball team, Edison is getting better as the season wears on. It took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Brackenridge scored the next seven runs over four innings. Edison rallied for three runs in the sixth.

.Brayan Guerrero and Mario Roldan contributed two hits apiece for Brackenridge. Jongregory Gonzales scored two runs and drove in a run.

Jefferson 11, Sam Houston 1

Mustangs junior Dylan Rodriguez pitched a three-hit shutout, leading Jefferfson (3-11) to a non-district win Thursday against fellow SAISD school Sam Houston (1-8).

Jimmy Canela led the Mustangs with two hits and three RBIs at SAISD Field No. 1. Michael Avalos had a double and also drove in two runs. Cesar Carranza also doubled and drove in a run.

BASEBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Brackenridge swings bats for win over rival Burbank

Highlands bounces back from Edison loss to down Jefferson in 28-4A

TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Highlands, Jefferson, Lanier.

Tristen Cortinas and Matthew de los Santos each produced three hits to lead Brackenridge (5-6, 1-0) to a 6-2 win over Burbank (2-10-1, 0-2) in a District 28-4A game Wednesday at SAISD Field No. 1.

Cortinas drove in three runs and de los Santos had a double. Jongregory Gonzales and Bryan Guerrero each contributed two hits. Guerrero added a double and an RBI. Alexander Hammerli and Mario Roldan drove in one run apiece. Brackenridge finished with 12 hits.

Robert Rangel and Guerrero pitched for the Eagles, limiting the Bulldogs to five hits and no earned runs.

For Burbank, Luke Warren went 2-for-4.

Brackenridge took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Bulldogs pulled within 4-2 in the second. The Eagles scored solo runs in the fourth and fifth.

Highlands 7, Jefferson 3

The Owls (6-7, 2-1) broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the sixth inning for a District 28-4A win over Jefferson (2-11, 1-2) Wednesday at SAISD Field No. 1.

The Mustangs had tied the score in the bottom of the fourth.

Bryan Aguilar led Highlands with two hits, including a triple, and two RBIs. Chris Ortiz (RBI) and Joshua Ortega also collected two hits. Gustavo Castro, John Cruz and Steven Martinez all drove in runs.

Cesar Carranza belted an RBI double for the Mustangs.

Edison 6, Highlands 3

The Golden Bears (1-10, 1-2) won their first game of the season, defeating Highlands District -4A in a District 28-4A contest Tuesday at SAISD Field No. 1.

Edison scored the go-ahead run in the third inning for a 2-1 advantage. The Golden Bears cemented the win with three runs in the sixth.

Julio Alvarez allowed six hits and was the winning pitcher for Edison.

Steven Martinez led the Owls with two hits and an RBI. Maurice Devora drove in two runs.

Jefferson 3, Lanier 2

The Mustangs edged Lanier (4-8, 1-2) with a late run in a District 28-4A game Monday at SAISD Field No. 1.

Lanier scored first, but Jefferson took the lead with two runs in the second innng. The Voks tied it 2-2 in the fourth, but Jefferson came up with the winning run in the sixth.

Cesar Carranza didn’t allow a run over the last three innings to earn the relief win for Jefferson.

Kevin Cortinas and Dylan Rodriguez both drove in runs for Jefferson.

Hector DeHoyos went 2-for-2 with an RBI for Lanier. Joshua Esquivel also produced two hits.

SOFTBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Edison hits stride in District 28-4A

East Central edges Corpus Christi Carroll in 28-5A opener

TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Highlands, Jefferson, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, Sam Houston.

Edison struggled uncharacteristically during its non-district schedule, but a comeback victory last week has propelled the Golden Bears to an undefeated record in District 28-4A.

The Golden Bears (5-10, 4-0) recorded an impressive 1-0 win over Brackenridge Monday and crushed Burbank 20-5 Wednesday. The wins put Edison in a first-place tie with Brennan (13-3, 4-0).

Senior Celeste Vela pitched a four-hit shutout in the win over Brackenridge. Edison, which was 1-10 in non-district play, scored the game’s only run in the top of the fourth inning.

Against Burbank, the Bulldogs led 1-0 in the top of the first inning. Edison responded with a six-run rally in the bottom of the inning. In the third, Burbank closed within 6-5. The Golden Bears rallied for 13 runs in the bottom of the fourth to finish the game.

Edison had assembled a four-run rally to defeat Highlands 17-15 March 4.

The Golden Bears are scheduled to play Brennan 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Northside ISD Field No. 1.

East Central 3, Corpus Christi Carroll 2

The Hornets (16-3, 1-0) came from behind twice to win their District 28-5A opener Tuesday at East Central.

The visiting Tigers took the lead in the second inning, but East Central tied it in the fourth. Carroll again took the lead in the top of the seventh. The Hornets again responded, pushing across two runs to take the win.

Senior Taylor Doege had a home run among the Hornets’ five hits. East Central pitcher Madison Strunk scattered seven hits.

McCollum 16, Memorial 1

The Cowboys (8-3, 4-0) remained undefeated in District 29-4A with a win Tuesday over Memorial (8-16, 3-4) at the Frank Tejeda Complex.

Sophomore Amber Saucedo pitched a three-hitter for McCollum. The Cowboys amassed 12 hits and scored 12 runs in the first two innings.

Brackenridge 15, Jefferson 2 (5 innings)

The Eagles (10-7-1, 2-2) rebounded from their loss to Edison with a decisive victory Wednesday against Jefferson (5-7, 1-3) at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 2.

Brackenridge took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but Jefferson closed to 3-1 after two innings. The Eagles broke the game open with five-run rallies in both the third and fourth innings.

Eagles junior pitcher Alexis Berlanga limited the Mustangs to four hits. Brackenridge finished with 12 hits.

Sam Houston 29, Hawkins 19 (5 innings)

The Hurricanes (1-8, 1-0) notched their first win of the season Wednesday in their District 28-3A opener against Hawkins at Villarreal Field No. 3.

The actually led 13-1 after two innings. Sam Houston’s furious comeback began with a seven-run binge in the third, cutting its deficit to 17-10.

Sam Houston took control in the fourth inning with a mind-boggling 18-run outburst.

Highlands 10, Lanier 0 (5 innings)

One thing has become clear about the Owls (5-6, 3-1) as the District 28-4A has progressed. Highlands can score runs. It victimized Lanier (12-14, 2-5) Monday at Villarreal Field No. 3.

Highlands built a 3-0 lead in the first two innings.The game remained relatively close until the Owls broke out with seven runs in the fourth inning. Highlands pitcher Samantha Lopez kept the Voks in check in the fifth to complete the shutout and end the game.

Lopez allowed four Lanier hits. Jaice Estrada-Mendez, Jolene Garcia, Esmi Garza and Brandi Mojica all went 1-for-2 for the Voks.

BASEBALL: Memorial has look of district contender

Minutemen, DeAnda shut down Southside in 29-4A opener

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER STORY:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Memorial-shows-playoff-potential-in-win-over-5304882.php

In baseball, Memorial used to be one of those “take care of business” teams.

By way of explanation, district playoff contenders tend to talk about beating the teams they should beat and trying to steal a win or two from their peers. If Friday’s performance was indicative, the Minutemen aren’t a cellar dweller anymore – they have grown into one of those prospective contenders.

Memorial (4-7, 1-0) picked up a key win over a senior-laden team most District 29-4A observers expected to be among the challengers for a playoff spot, Southside (3-8, 0-1). Senior pitcher Ivan DeAnda allowed the Cardinals just two hits in the Minutemen’s 2-0 victory in the district opener at Edgewood Field.

“We’re mostly seniors, but we have (a few) juniors,” DeAnda said. “We want to win. We want to get to the playoffs this year.”

At the refurbished field on the campus of the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy, which was dedicated last April, Memorial used a classic combination of elements to seize the victory. The Minutemen made timely hits, played error-free defense and capitalized on their offensive opportunities to gain the upper hand on the Cardinals.

“I’m very pleased with the team’s performance,” Memorial coach Carlos Vasquez said. “We had good defense to back Ivan up. We’ve had a couple of games we lost because we failed to make the routine play. That’s something we’ve been working on a lot.

“When you play good defense, the kids are going to be motivated and give that extra effort. When they do that, you can accomplish good things.”

Memorial scored two runs on just two hits in the third inning, but that was all the offense it needed.

DeAnda retired 12 of the last 14 batters – a streak muddied by a dropped third strike on what would have been the final out – after giving up a leadoff single to Southside pitcher Casey Conrad in the fourth inning. Undaunted, the senior right-hander picked up his 15th strikeout of the game against the on-deck hitter.

“My fastball was really good,” said DeAnda, who called it his best outing of the season. “But my curveball was curving in. Hitters weren’t expecting it. The pitch of the night was my curve ball.”

The bottom five hitters in Southside’s batting order were a combined 0-for-13 against DeAnda. The Cardinals had scored 16 runs in its previous two games.

“He’s pitching well,” Vasquez said. “The last week or so, he’s been more dominating. The top six or seven guys, he was mixing it up against them. You had to show some respect to the top of their order.”

Memorial scored its runs in the third inning, with help from two Southside errors.

With one out after a running catch of a foul pop up by Southside catcher Aaron Peralta, Memorial’s Eliseo Cuevas beat out an infield single. Cuevas advanced on a wild pitch and scored the game’s first run on a throwing error off a well-played grounder.

Minutemen junior shortstop Steven Hernandez (2-for-3) was safe on the error and scored on another error, after moving up on a single from DeAnda. A dropped pop up gave Memorial a 2-0 lead.

“Steven’s hitting really well,” Vasquez said. “He’s moving guys around (the bases). When you have a good pitcher, you don’t need to score very much, but everybody’s hitting. It doesn’t have to be one of the top three.”

MORE TO COME

BASEBALL: Area rankings (thru March 9)

Through March 9

TOP 15:

1. East Central

2. McCollum

3. Central Catholic

4. Southwest

5. South San

6. Highlands

7. Brackenridge

8. Burbank

9. Harlandale

10. Kennedy

11. Memorial

12. Southside

13. Lanier

14. Holy Cross

15. Jefferson

SOFTBALL: Area rankings (thru March 9)

Through March 9

TOP 15:

1. Southwest

2. East Central

3. Brackenridge

4. Holy Cross

5. McCollum

6. South San

7. Providence

8. Jefferson

9. Edison

10. Highlands

11. Harlandale

12. Southside

13. Lanier

14. Kennedy

15. Memorial

BASEBALL: This week’s results (thru March 15)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of March 9-15

Monday’s games

District 28-4A

Jefferson (2-10, 1-1) 3, Lanier (4-7, 1-1) 2

Edison (0-9, 0-1) vs. Highlands (5-6, 1-0) at SAISD Field No. 1, 2:30 p.m. (postponed to Tuesday, March 11)

Brackenridge (4-6, 0-0) vs. Brennan (6-5-1, 1-0) at Northside Field No. 2, 5:30 p.m. (postponed to noon Friday, March 14)

Non-district

Judson (8-8-1) 18, Burbank (2-9-1) 0 (5 innings)

Wagner (2-10-1) 4, Southwest (7-5-1) 3

Holy Cross (3-8) vs. Warren (8-5) at Northside Field No. 1, 5:30 p.m. (score unavailable, possible postponement)

Tuesday’s games

District 28-4A

Brennan (7-5-1, 2-0) 21, Lanier (4-8, 1-2) 0 (5 innings)

Edison (1-9, 1-1) 6, Highlands (5-7, 1-1) 3

District 29-4A

Medina Valley (10-4-1, 2-0) 11, Kennedy (5-6, 1-1) 0 (6 innings)

McCollum (11-2, 2-0) 11, Memorial (4-8, 1-1) 0 (5 innings)

Uvalde (4-7-1, 1-1) 5, Southside (3-9, 0-2) 3

Harlandale (4-7, 0-1) at Floresville (6-5, 0-1), 6:30 p.m. (postponed to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 12)

Non-district

Edison (1-9) at South San (8-5), 1 p.m. (score unavailable)

Cotulla (0-1 ???) at Holy Cross (3-8), 3 p.m. (score unavailable)

Wednesday’s games

District 28-4A

Highlands (6-7, 2-1) 7, Jefferson (2-11, 1-2) 3

Brackenridge (5-6, 1-0) 6, Burbank (2-10-1, 0-2) 2.

District 29-4A

Floresville (7-5, 1-1) 4, Harlandale (4-8, 0-2) 3

TAPPS District 2-5A

Central Catholic (8-5) at Corpus Christi John Paul II (???), 1 p.m. (score unavailable)

Non-district

Antonian (14-4) 15, Holy Cross (3-9) 5 (6 innings)

South San (9-5) 9, MacArthur (8-4) 6

Thursday’s games

District 28-4A

Brennan (8-4-1, 3-0) 3, Burbank (2-11-1, 0-3) 2

Brackenridge (6-6, 2-0) 8, Edison (1-10, 1-2) 5

Highlands (7-7, 3-1) 2 Lanier (4-9, 1-3) 1 (8 innings)

District 29-4A

Floresville (8-5, 2-1) 13, Memorial (4-9, 1-2) 5

Harlandale (5-8, 1-2) 5, Kennedy (5-7, 1-2) 0

McCollum (12-2, 3-0) 5, Uvalde (4-8-1, 1-2) 1

Medina Valley (11-4-1, 3-0) 14, Southside (3-10, 0-3) 0 (5 innings)

Non-district

New Braunfels Canyon (10-7) 10, East Central (9-3-2) 9

Jefferson (3-11) 11, Sam Houston (1-8 ???) 1

Somerset (7-6) at Holy Cross (3-8), 1 p.m.  (score unavailable)

South San (10-5) 8, Wagner (2-11-1) 1

Friday’s games

District 28-4A

Brennan (9-4-1, 4-0) 12, Brackenridge (6-7, 2-1) 1 (6 innings)

Non-district

Southwest (7-4-1) vs. Central Catholic (8-5) at Kahlig Park, 11 a.m.  (score unavailable)

SOFTBALL: This week’s results (thru March 15)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of March 9-15

Monday’s games

District 28-4A

Brennan (13-3, 4-0) 15, Burbank (2-10-1 ???, 0-3) 1 (3 innings)

Edison (4-10, 3-0) 1, Brackenridge (9-5-1, 1-2) 0

Highlands (5-6-1, 3-1) 10, Lanier (4-9, 0-4) 0 (5 innings)

Non-district

Incarnate Word (4-5) at Southwest (9-4), 2 p.m. (score unavailable, possible postponement)

South San (8-6-1) at Churchill (7-10), 4 p.m. (score unavailable, possible postponement)

Tuesday’s games

District 28-5A

East Central (16-3, 1-0) 3, Corpus Christi Carroll (4-2 ???, 0-1) 2

Steele (13-6, 1-0) 7, Corpus Christi King (0-1 ???, 0-1) 0

District 29-4A

Harlandale (6-9-1, 0-3) at Floresville (8-9, 2-1), noon (postponed to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 12)

Medina Valley (19-2, 4-0) 17, Kennedy (3-8, 1-3) 0 (5 innings)

McCollum (8-3, 4-0) 16, Memorial (1-10, 0-4) 1

Uvalde (9-8, 3-1) 15, Southside (4-12, 1-3) 6

Non-district

South San (8-6-1) at Churchill (7-10), 7:15 p.m. (score unavailable)

Wednesday’s games

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (10-7-1, 2-2) 15, Jefferson (5-7, 1-3) 2 (5 innings)

Edison (5-10, 4-0) 20, Burbank (2-11-1 ???, 0-4) 5 (4 innings)

District 29-4A

Floresville (9-9, 3-1) 4, Harlandale (6-10-1, 0-4) 1

District 28-3A

Sam Houston (1-8, 1-0) 29, Hawkins (1-2 ???, 0-1) 19 

Non-district

St. Anthony (5-8-1) 18, Lanier (4-10) 10

Thursday’s games

District 28-5A

South San (9-6-1, 1-0) 13, Southwest (9-5, 0-1) 8 

District 28-4A

Brennan (14-3, 5-0) 6, Highlands (5-7-1, 3-2) 2

District 29-4A

Floresville (10-9, 4-1) 17, Memorial (1-11, 0-5) 0 (4 innings)

Harlandale (7-10-1, 1-4) 9, Kennedy (3-9, 1-4) 8

McCollum (9-3, 5-0) 5, Uvalde (9-9, 3-2) 4 (8 innings)

Medina Valley (20-2, 5-0) 16, Southside (4-13, 1-4) 0

Friday’s game

Non-district

New Braunfels (10-12) 10, Holy Cross (14-7) 0 (6 innings)

Saturday’s game

TAPPS District 2-5A

Incarnate Word (4-5, 0-0) vs. Providence (4-3 ???, 1-0) at Mission Concepcion Sports Park, 1 p.m.

BASEBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Hornets knock Johnson from ranks of unbeaten

High-scoring Highlands thumps Burbank; Central Catholic batters Brack

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER STORY:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Baseball-roundup-5304883.php

 TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier.

Highlands shortstop Bryan Aguilar scored two runs and drove in another as the Owls defeated Brackenridge 9-0 Friday.
Highlands shortstop Bryan Aguilar scored two runs and drove in another as the Owls defeated Brackenridge 9-0 Friday.

East Central (9-2-2) dealt Johnson (13-1), No. 3 in the Express-News area rankings, its first loss of the season last Friday in the East Central Tournament.

The upset win kept the Hornets undefeated in the tournament. Unfortunately for East Central, rain on Saturday prevented the tournament’s completion.

East Central also defeated Lee 11-3 Friday and Roosevelt 9-1 Thursday in the tournament.

Justin Upshaw-Mendoza pitched the shutout against Johnson. Senior Russell Brown and Matthew Tovar each produced two hits. Joseph Gutierrez and Tovar drove in runs.

Jacob Guerra was the Hornets’ winning pitcher against Roosevelt, limiting the Roughriders to three hits. East Central scored two runs in the second, third and fifth innings.

Against Lee, Fernando Luna and Tovar each contributed three hits. Tovar drove in four runs. Upshaw-Mendoza and Gutierrez each had two RBIs. Wanya Ward and Aaron Jaramillo also collected RBIs.

Kassidy Ramon and Ruben Pena combined to pitch the East Central victory. Neither allowed an earned run.

Highlands 9, Burbank 0

The Owls (6-6, 1-0) completed a week in which they outscored two opponents 32-2 with the cherry on top, a commanding win over traditional District 28-4A power Burbank (2-8-1, 0-1).

Friday at SAISD Field No. 1, Highlands took charge with two runs in the first inning while senior ace Steven Martinez fashioned a two-hit shutout. The Owls put the game away with a seven-run rally in the sixth.

Martinez also contributed two hits.

The Owls’ leading hitter was Chris Ortiz, who went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Gustavo Castro, Joshua Ortega, Maurice Devora, Mark Guadiano, Bryan Aguilar and John Cruz also drove in runs. Ryan Bailey and Aguilar each scored two runs for Highlands.

For Burbank, Justin Carlos Gonzales accounted for both Bulldogs hits.

Central Catholic 11, Brackenridge 0 (5 innings)

The Buttons (8-5) recorded a convincing win over a solid Brackenridge (4-6) team Friday at Kahlig Park.

Central Catholic scored eight runs in the first inning and invoked the 10-run rule in the fifth with three runs. The Eagles mustered just two hits, including a double from Tristen Cortinas.

Individual statistics for the Buttons were unavailable.

Kennedy 7, Uvalde 5 (8 innings)

The Rockets (5-5, 1-0) outlasted host Uvalde (3-7, 0-1) for a hard-earned District 29-4A win Friday.

Kennedy, which improved its overall record to .500, scored four runs in the first two innings, but the Coyotes slashed its lead to one in the bottom of the second. Uvalde tied the game in the bottom of the fourth and it remained deadlocked into extra innings.

Sophomore Fabian Del Toro was the winning pitcher for the Rockets.

Lanier 8, Edison 3

The Voks (4-6, 1-0) garnered their first District 28-4A win by taking the season-opener from Edison (0-9, 0-1) Friday at SAISD Field No. 2.

Lanier had a 2-1 lead entering the third inning, when it assembled the first of two-consecutive, three-run innings. The Golden Bears could get no closer than 5-2 thereafter.

Hector DeHoyos was the winning pitcher for the Voks.

BASEBALL: South San trying to find itself before district play begins

Win over Judson step in right direction for Bobcats

Isaac Lugo was the winning pitcher in South San's 4-3 decision over Brandeis in the NEISD Tournament.
Isaac Lugo was the winning pitcher in South San’s 4-3 decision over Brandeis in the NEISD Tournament.

 

South San catcher Adrian Gallegos tags out a runner at the plate off a strong throw from center fielder Nick Herrera. Gallegos hit a two-run, game-winning home run in the next inning.
South San catcher Adrian Gallegos tags out a runner at the plate off a strong throw from center fielder Nick Herrera. Gallegos hit a two-run, game-winning home run in the next inning.

 

South San junior Frank Bosmans dives back to the bag to beat a Brandeis pickoff attempt.
South San junior Frank Bosmans dives back to the bag to beat a Brandeis pickoff attempt.

 

South San senior Daniel Delgado evaluates a letter-high pitch.
South San senior Daniel Delgado evaluates a letter-high pitch.

 

When South San began the week, by its coach’s admission, seemed to have a wheel in the ditch and a wheel on the track, based on its performance in the first two weeks of the season. The Bobcats, had shown flourishes of better things to come nonetheless and also had time on their side.

The Bobcats (8-5) may have made some progress with a 5-4, eight-inning victory Tuesday over Judson (4-7-1) at Burrows-Gustafson Stadium.

“The problem is that we give up runs early in the game,” South San coach Robert Zamora said folllowing the NEISD Tournament. “Then we have to battle back, just to get back in the game. Take out the first inning against (Austin) Bowie, and we were right in it.”

Zamora knows the high standard of play the Bobcats will need to maintain to qualify for the state playoffs from highly competitive District 28-5A. In the district, which seems to have more balance every year, giving up unearned runs can be the difference between winning and losing.

“That’s the thing about our district,” the veteran coach said. “There aren’t many games where the other team wins by the 10-run rule. They’re the big boys.”
South San built a 3-0 lead through six innings. Judson struck for four in the top of the seventh and seized a 4-3 lead. The Bobcats scored in the bottom of the innings to send it to extra innings.

The Bobcats won the game in the bottom of the eighth.

Junior Frank Bosmans hit a home run for South San. Reagan Gonzales was the winning pitcher, scattering six hits.

Seniors Adrian Gallegos, John Gamez and Daniel Delgado have been the team’s primary pitchers. Gallegos has seen time at first base, as well as his usual position, catcher. Gamez shares shortstop with his brother, freshman Jaren Gamez. Delgado also plays right field.

Bosmans has found a home at catcher. Senior Ryan Rendon holds down left field.

South San was within one game of the NEISD Tournament championship game March 1, but fell 4-2 to Austin Bowie. The Bobcats subsequently fell 5-1 to Clark, their second loss to the Cougars in the three-day tournament, to finish with a 2-3 record at the Blossom Athletic Complex.

The Bobcats had edged Brandeis 4-3 and defeated Roosevelt 8-4 in Friday games to put themselves in the semifinals.

The Bobcats defeated Brandeis on the strength of a two-run, sixth-inning home run from Gallegos. Isaac Lugo was the winning pitcher for South San.

“We’re one game over .500,” Zamora said before the Judson game. “That’s not going to make it in our district. We’ve got to pick it up.”

Although it will be a challenge in a district traditionally ruled by Corpus Christi Carroll and with teams like East Central and Southwest off to solid starts, South San aspires to return to the playoffs from 28-5A.

“We’re expecting to get in,” Zamora said. “What place will be a matter of how we handle our district games and the pressure. We know everybody is going to bring it. You can’t just show up at game time and play.

“You get so much thrown at you in those seven innings, if you’re not mentally in the game, you’re going to miss a key play.

“I see us getting in, but we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

 

BASEBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Brackenridge edges Southside in rematch

Highlands lights up SACS for 23 runs

TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, East Central, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Southside.

The schedule pitted Brackenridge and Southside against each other in two consecutive games recently. The first meeting went to Southside, but the Eagles (4-5) took their revenge Tuesday at the Cardinals’ field.

Brackenridge grabbed a 4-2 lead in the first two innings. However, the Cardinals (3-7) rallied for four runs in the third for a two-run lead.

The Eagles regained the lead with five runs in the fifth and held on to win behind relief pitcher Bryan Guerrero.

Tristen Cortinas and Mario Roldan each drove in two runs for Brackenridge. Jongregory Gonzales and Roldan each collected two hits. Romanique Anthony and Gonzales each stole two bases.

Southside had defeated Brackenridge 7-6 Saturday in the Floresville Tournament.

Highlands 23, San Antonio Christian 2 (4 innings)

The Owls (5-6) overmatched San Antonio Christian Tuesday at the Lions’ field in a non-district contest. Highlands was led by a 5-for-5, four-RBI hitting performance from senior Steven Martinez.

Highlands got off to a modest start, leading 4-1 after an inning, but continued to build momentum. The Owls scored six in the second, two in the third and brought the game to an early end with 11 runs in the fourth.

Four of Martinez’s hits went for extra bases. He belted three doubles and a triple.

Bryan Aguilar produced four hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Joshua Ortega (2 hits), Justin Sanchez, Gabriel Gomez and John Cruz (2 hits, double) all drove in three runs.

East Central 12, Jefferson 1

The Hornets (6-2-2) scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back on the way to a non-district win over Jefferson (1-9) Tuesday SAISD Field No. 1.

Russell Brown and Justin Upshaw-Mendoza led East Central with three hits apiece. Aaron Jaramillo and Fernando Luna each finished with two hits.

Brown scored three runs and Daemien Vasquez added two.

Carlos Gallegos and Matthew Tovar each drove in two runs for the Hornets. Brown, Jaramillo, Upshaw-Mendoza and Wanya Ward drove in one run apiece.

East Central pitchers Luna and Tovar combined on the victory. Luna struck out six in four innings. Tovar notched eight strikeouts in three innings.

Jefferson’s Cesar Carranza scored his team’s only run in the second inning. The Mustangs tallied five hits.

Harlandale 11, Edison 0 (5 innings)

The Indians (4-6) win its final non-district tuneup Tuesday with a strong offensive showing against Edison (0-8) at the Tejeda Complex. Zachary Perez and Robert Palomino combined to pitch a one-hitter for Harlandale.

Perez was the winning pitcher, striking out five and walking one in four innings. Palomino struck out three in one inning.

Rogelio Gutierrez led Harlandale’s offense, which rode an eight-run second inning to victory. Gutierrez went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Timothy Smith had two hits, including a triple and an RBI.

Joey Casteneda drove in two runs. Ramzey Martinez, Christian Slocume and Palomino also drove in runs.

SOFTBALL WEEKEND REPORT: McCollum bumps Jaguars out of first in 29-4A

Hornets’ Strunk quiets Edison’s bats; Owls keep offense soaring in win over Jefferson

TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Highlands, Jefferson, McCollum, Memoriai, Southside.

McCollum (8-3, 3-0) emerged undefeated from a battle featuring two of the three teams tied for first place in District 29-4A Friday in Floresville.

The Cowboys remained in a first-place tie with Medina Valley (18-2, 3-0) after edging the host Jaguars (8-9, 2-1) 3-2.

Further game details were unavailable.

East Central 4, Edison 0

East Central (15-3) bounced back from a loss to Judson in the championship game of the Seguin Tournament to defeat Edison (3-10) 4-0 at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 3 Friday in a non-district game.

Hornets junior Madison Strunk limited the Golden Bears to one hit, silencing bats that had accounted for 17 runs in their previous outing. Strunk improved her record to 8-3.

East Central scored single runs in the first and third innings. The Hornets increased their lead to four runs by scoring two in the sixth.

Highlands 16, Jefferson 8

The fortunes of the Owls (4-6-1, 2-1) and Jefferson (5-6, 1-2) reversed themselves over a 72-hour period.

Last Tuesday, Highlands scored 15 runs in another District 28-4A game at the Villarreal softball complex, but came away with a loss. On a nearby field, Jefferson rolled to a 19-2 win over Lanier.

On Friday at diamond No. 2, Highlands improved on its offensive total and limited its opponent to less than half of Edison’s score (17) to collect the district win.

Highlands struck for six runs in the top of the first inning. The Mustangs scored two runs before the Owls rallied for five more in the top of the third. Jefferson had closed the gap to 13-5 after five innings, but both teams scored three runs in the sixth.

Brackenridge 17, Burbank 2 (4 innings)

The Eagles (9-5-1, 1-1) torched rival Burbank (2-9-1, 0-2) Friday at Villarreal Field No. 1.

“We’ll see where we are after we play Edison (Monday) and Jefferson Wednesday,” Brackenridge coach Robyn Murken said. “That’s going to determine a lot for us.”

Brackenridge hammered 11 hits, led by a pair of doubles from catcher Jackie Rodriguez and a two-single, five-RBI effort from second baseman Alyssa Berlanga. Both are freshmen.

The Eagles added five runs in the fourth.

Eagles junior Alexis Berlanga (9-6) allowed four hits and a pair of third-inning runs to the Bulldogs.

Southside 16, Memorial 1 (3 innings)

The Cardinals (4-11, 1-2) unloaded on host Memorial (1-9, 0-3) Friday at Tiger Field. Southside’s offensive output equaled their season scoring high, achieved Feb. 22 against MacArthur’s junior varsity.

In its first District 29-4A win, Southside scored at least five runs in each of the three innings. The Cardinals grabbed a 6-0 lead in the top of the first.

Senior Kat Mancha hit a home run and drove in two runs for Southside. Cardinals sophomore Isabel Gonzalez limited the Minutemen to three hits and a second-inning run.

SOFTBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Senior-dominated Mustangs blast Lanier

Edison tops Highlands in slugfest; Providence edges St. Anthony with impressive comeback

TEAMS INCLUDEDEdison, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, Providence, Southside.

Jefferson (5-5, 1-1) announced its presence as a veteran team with playoff aspirations Tuesday with a 19-4 drubbing of Lanier (4-6, 0-2) in District 28-4A game at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 2.

“We’re strong,” Jefferson coach Jennifer Gomez said. “We have experience. We’re still trying to get them to come around. It hasn’t helped that we have one less tournament (to prepare for district) because of the UIL rule change.”

Although the final score may hint that the game never was close, there actually was a pivotal moment in the second inning.

The Mustangs led 2-1, but Lanier had a runner at third base. A grounder went to Jefferson third baseman Amber Maldonado, who bluffed a throw across the diamond to first, but instead tagged out the runner.

“She’s a very smart and very savvy player,” Gomez said. “That kid knows how to make a play.”

Maldonado prevented the would-be tying run and in the bottom of the inning, an RBI triple from Amanda Garza sparked a five-run rally. The Voks closed within 7-3 in the top of the fourth inning, but Jefferson scored eight times in the bottom of the inning to put the game away.

“Amber, if she wasn’t 4-for-4, I’d be surprised,” Gomez said. “Bianca Nunez and Amanda Garza both had triples that cleared the bases. And we had a couple of little singles here and there. Pretty much everybody was hitting the ball.”

The Mustangs lost a heartbreaker 9-8 to defending 28-4A champion Brennan in their district opener.

“I felt like we could have pulled that one out,” Gomez said. “We just had one out and one little error at the wrong time.”

The Mustangs have 10 seniors on the roster and eight are starters. Jefferson’s goal is to claim one of the district’s four playoff spots.

“It’s going to be very tight for those first four positions,” Gomez said. “It used to be a top four and bottom three district, but it’s going to be tough now. It’s going to be a race to the finish.”

Amanda Davila, Jaclyn Garza and Brandi Mojica each had two hits for Lanier.

Edison 17, Highlands 15

The Golden Bears (3-9, 2-0) scored four runs in the top of the seventh after trailing Highlands (3-6-1, 1-1) for most of the District 28-4A game Tuesday at Villarreal Field No. 3.

The two teams gave a pretty good indication of the slugfest to come in the first inning. Edison scored three runs in the top of the first. Highlands came to bat and cranked out eight runs.

The Owls’ lead reached 10-5 by the end of the second inning. The Golden Bears overtook Highlands in the fifth, scoring two runs for a brief 11-10 advantage. The Owls tied it in the bottom of the inning.

Edison scored twice again in the sixth, but Highlands responded with four runs this time. The Owls took a 15-13 lead into the final inning.

Providence 8, St. Anthony 6

The Provets (4-3, 1-0) scored seven runs in the last two innings for a remarkable comeback win at St. Anthony (3-7-1, 0-1) Wednesday. The game was the TAPPS District 2-5A opener for both teams.

The Yellowjackets had a 2-0 lead entering the top of the third, when Providence scored its first run. The Provets trailed 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth, but evened the score with a five-run rally in the top of the sixth.

Kennedy 10, Memorial 6

The Rockets (3-6, 1-1) scored five runs in their last two at-bats to win the District 29-4A contest against rival Memorial (1-8, 0-2) Tuesday at Tiger Field.

Kennedy established a 4-1 lead in the first inning. Memorial put together a four-run rally of its own to gain the lead in the third, but the Rockets tied it in the bottom of the inning.

The Minutemen regained the lead with a run in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, Kennedy produced another three-run rally for an 8-6 advantage.

Holy Cross 5, Austin St. Dominic Savio 0

Senior Julia Ibarra pitched the Knights (14-6, 1-0) to a victory in their TAPPS District 3-4A opener Tuesday in Austin. Ibarra allowed Austin St. Dominic Savio just three hits, while Holy Cross bashed 14.

Holy Cross built a 2-0 lead in the first two innings and added three runs in the seventh.

McCollum 12, Harlandale 1 (6 innings)

The Cowboys (6-3, 2-0) scored eight runs in the last to innings of the District 29-4A game to defeat rival Harlandale (6-8-1, 0-2) Tuesday at the Frank Tejeda Complex.

McCollum junior pitcher Kim Abundis didn’t allow a run until the bottom of the sixth, when Indians senior Jackie Espinoza slugged a solo home run. The Cowboys scored four runs in the top of the inning to put the 10-run rule into effect unless Harlandale scored three runs in its at-bat.

The Cowboys broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the second and added a run in the fourth.

BASEBALL & SOFTBALL: Spring Break area schedule (March 9-15)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of March 9-15

Monday’s games

BASEBALL

District 28-4A

Jefferson vs. Lanier at SAISD Field No. 1, noon

Edison vs. Highlands at SAISD Field No. 1, 2:30 p.m.

Brackenridge vs. Brennan at Northside Field No. 2, 5:30 p.m.

Non-district

Judson vs. Burbank at SAISD Field No. 2, 1 p.m.

Southwest at Wagner, 1 p.m.

Holy Cross vs. Warren at Northside Field No. 1, 5:30 p.m.

SOFTBALL

District 28-4A

Brennan vs. Burbank at Villarreal Field No. 3, noon

Edison vs. Brackenridge at Villarreal Field No. 1, noon

Lanier vs. Highlands at Villarreal Field No. 2, noon

Non-district

Incarnate Word at Southwest, 2 p.m.

South San at Churchill, 4 p.m.

Tuesday’s games

BASEBALL 

District 28-4A

Lanier vs. Brennan at Northside Field No. 2, noon

District 29-4A

Medina Valley at Kennedy, noon

Memorial vs. McCollum at Tejeda Complex, noon

Uvalde at Southside, noon

Harlandale at Floresville, 6:30 p.m.

Non-district

Edison at South San, 1 p.m.

Cotulla at Holy Cross, 3 p.m.

SOFTBALL

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll at East Central, 2 p.m.

District 29-4A

Harlandale at Floresville, noon

Medina Valley vs. Kennedy at Tiger Field, noon

Memorial vs. McCollum at Tejeda Complex, noon

Non-district

South San at Churchill, 7:15 p.m.

 

Wednesday’s games

BASEBALL

District 28-4A

Highlands vs. Jefferson at SAISD Field No. 1, noon

Brackenridge vs. Burbank at SAISD Field No. 1, 2:30 p.m.

District 29-4A

Uvalde at Southside, noon

TAPPS District 2-5A

Central Catholic at Corpus Christi John Paul II, 1 p.m.

Non-district

Holy Cross at Antonian, 1 p.m.

South San vs. MacArthur at NEISD Field, 2 p.m.

 

SOFTBALL

District 28-4A

Brackenridge vs. Jefferson at Villarreal Field No. 2, noon

Burbank vs. Edison at Villarreal Field No. 1, noon

District 28-3A

Hawkins vs. Sam Houston at Villarreal Field No. 3, noon

Non-district

Lanier vs. St. Anthony at U. of Incarnate Word, 6 p.m.

 

Thursday’s games

BASEBALL

District 28-4A

Jefferson vs. Lanier at SAISD Field No. 1, noon

Edison vs. Highlands at SAISD Field No. 1, 2:30 p.m.

Brackenridge vs. Brennan at Northside Field No. 2, 5:30 p.m.

District 28-4A

Brennan vs. Burbank at SAISD Field No. 2, 2:30 p.m.

Edison vs. Brackenridge at SAISD Field No. 2, 2:30 p.m.

Lanier vs. Highlands at SAISD Field No. 1, 2:30 p.m.

District 29-4A

Floresville vs. Memorial at Edgewood Field, noon

Kennedy vs. Harlandale at Tejeda Complex, noon

McCollum at Uvalde, noon

Southside at Medina Valley, noon

Non-district

East Central at New Braunfels Canyon, noon

Sam Houston vs. Jefferson at SAISD Field No. 1, noon

Somerset at Holy Cross, 1 p.m.

Wagner at South San, 1 p.m.

SOFTBALL

District 28-5A

Southwest at South San, 7:15 p.m.

District 28-4A

Highlands vs. Brennan at Northside Field No. 1, 10 a.m.

District 29-4A

Floresville vs. Memorial at Tiger Field, noon

Kennedy vs. Harlandale at Tejeda Complex, noon

McCollum at Uvalde, noon

Southside at Medina Valley, noon

Friday’s games

BASEBALL

Non-district

Southwest vs. Central Catholic at Kahlig Park, 11 a.m.

Saturday’s games

SOFTBALL

TAPPS District 2-5A

Incarnate Word vs. Providence at Mission Concepcion Sports Park, 1 p.m.

Non-district

Holy Cross at New Braunfels, 1 p.m.

SOFTBALL: Brennan out-rallies Brackenridge in 28-4A thriller

Defending champ Bears score 7 in seventh for win

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS STORY TUESDAY FOR A LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER:

For five innings, neither of the top two teams in District 28-4A could find a way to get a run. Then chaos ensued.

A Brennan rally was topped by a Brackenridge rally, setting the stage for seventh-inning fireworks March 4 at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1. The defending champion Bears (11-3, 2-0) exploded for seven runs in the final inning to record a 12-5 victory over Brackenridge (8-5-1, 0-1).

“Whenever it gets down to crunch time, we pull it out,” Brennan coach Ruby de la Garza said. “We need to jump on it quick and stay on it, as opposed to having to scratch and fight to win.”

Brennan had taken a 4-0 lead in the top of the sixth after Jolynn Ortiz and Gabby Acuna drew leadoff walks from Brackenridge ace Alexis Berlanga. Laikyn Modra followed with an RBI single on a misplayed drive to the outfield and Miranda Mueller drilled a two-run triple. An overthrow on the relay throw sent Mueller home for a 4-0 lead.

Neither team had gotten a runner past second base through five innings. Suddenly, the outcome appeared to be decided.

“I didn’t know if we could dig ourselves out,” Brackenridge coach Robyn Murken said. “But we did it, only to dig a deeper hole.”

Brackenridge took the lead with a rally that began in the bottom of the sixth inning when Miranda Sandoval drew a leadoff walk. Next up was Allie Castillo, who slapped a single through the left side of the infield. A bunt single from Jacklynn Nevarez loaded the bases for Lexus Lozano, who lifted a sacrifice fly that cut the Eagles deficit to 4-1.

Eagles catcher Jackie Rodriguez dropped a single into center field that brought home a second run. A triple to right-center field from Celeste Canales tied it 4-4.

“She hit it to the right spot,” Murken said of the two-RBI hit. “It was a low pitch, but she stayed on it and rapped it to right field. She went for it.”

Brackenridge took the lead when Alyssa Berlanga was safe on an error.

Brennan didn’t waste any time getting retaliation. They scored seven runs without making an out.

Lexi Yorkman was safe on a bunt to the pitcher’s circle, leading off the bottom of the seventh. Jacqui Aguirre also bunted and was safe on an overthrow at first base.

“If we would have executed and got those two outs on bunts, I really believe we would have ended it right there,” Murken said. “We let up and got caught off-guard.”

Winning pitcher Iliana Martinez loaded the bases by drawing a walk. Then Ortiz drove a grand-slam home run over the wall in straightaway left field. The blast instantly gave the Bears an 8-5 lead.

“Before the inning, I told the girls, ‘Don’t swing for the fence,’ ” de la Garza said. “But I talked to Jolynn and told her, ‘Just hit a fly ball.’ A sacrifice fly would have tied it up and put us back in the game, and we still would have had one out.”

Acuna and Modra followed with back-to-back doubles.

“She has a great team,” de la Garza said of Murken. “She always does. When we play Robin’s team, it’s always going to be a fight. You have to be prepared and everybody has to come together.”

Berlanga (8-6) didn’t give up a hit until Acuna led off the fourth with a single. Brandy Brown collected Brennan’s only other hit in the first five innings against the junior, who is in her second season as the Eagles’ ace.

“She’s throwing a lot better this year,” Murken said. “She just goes right at (batters). She doesn’t let things get her down.”

Before Brackenridge’s big inning, the Eagles only hit came from Lozano in the fourth, after Nevarez was safe on an error. Brennan escaped the one-out threat when Modra grabbed a line drive at shortstop and threw to second for a double play.