SOFTBALL: St. Joseph maintains its hold on Holy Cross

Knights reach TAPPS state quarters for second year


Knights pitcher Julia Ibarra will graduate after four years as a starter.
Knights pitcher Julia Ibarra will graduate after four years as a starter.
Holy Cross junior shortstop Marisol Ortega will lead a host of Knights' returnees.
Holy Cross junior shortstop Marisol Ortega will lead a host of Knights’ returnees.



Victoria St. Joseph remains Holy Cross’ nemesis, for another year.

The Flyers (24-11) claimed a 10-5 win over the Knights in the TAPPS Class 4A state semifinals Monday at Texas A&M University in College Station. It was the TAPPS 3-4A champion’s second win this year over Holy Cross (26-11-1), including a 4-3 decision March 29 in district play..

“We hit the ball well,” Knights coach Angel Cedillo said. “We actually outhit them 10-9, but they had people on base, and we didn’t. They’re a good team.

“If we keep building, one of these days, we’ll find a way to catch up.”

St. Joseph was eliminated in the state semifinals with a 10-0 loss to Fort Bend Christian.Friday.

The Flyers were in control throughout the semifinal, after scoring three runs in the first inning. Mariah Clay clouted a two-home run for St. Joseph.

“They hit a double to start the game,” Cedillo said, “then their leadoff hitter hit a home run. We had some issues. We couldn’t put the ball over the plate.

“We had to squeeze them, pitch them away and feed them change-ups. When you’re trying to do that, sometimes you get behind in the count and come down the middle. They put the bat on the ball and got timely hits. We didn’t make a lot of errors. It was all walks and timely hits.”

Holy Cross, the No. 3 seed from 3-4A, closed within 3-1 in the second inning. St. Joseph responded with a six-run fourth. Knights senior pitcher Julia Ibarra only allowed one run thereafter.

“They never quit all season,” Cedillo said. “We always played tough.”

The Knights made the final margin more respectable with two runs in each of the final two innings.

“We started the seventh with four base hits in a row,” Cedillo said. “We had our No. 4 batter (Kat Rangel) up and she hit a shot in the gap. Their girl made a good catch, or it would have been 10-8 if that ball got through.

“It wasn’t meant to be.”

Holy Cross qualified for the state quarterfinals for the second-consecutive year. The Knights never had advanced as far before 2011.

This season’s highlights also included wins over TAPPS Class 5A teams Antonian and Incarnate Word. Antonian lost 10-4 to Dallas Bishop Lynch Saturday in the 5A championship game. Lynch defeated Incarnate Word 16-6 Friday in the semifinals.

“The girls had a great year,” Cedillo said. “We had never beaten both in the same year. It’s all about peaking at the right time (in the playoffs). We’ll build on this and keep getting better.

“Our girls can look back and say they beat two really good teams in Antonian and Incarnate Word. The girls who are coming back and the ones that graduate can feel like they’ve really accomplished something. They have nothing to feel bad about. We just got beat by a better team that day.

“I look forward to next year.”

The Knights only will lose two seniors to graduation, starting right fielder Jenevieve Cruz and Ibarra, who fashioned a 21-8 pitching record this year. Replacing the four-year starting pitcher, who shared duties with 2013 graduate Marisa Hernandez the first three seasons, will be difficult.

Junior Marisol Ortega (.590 batting average, 27 stolen bases) was the Knights’ No. 2 pitcher this season, but she’s also an outstanding leadoff hitter and defensive shortstop.

“We’re going to have to outscore teams until we figure out who’s going to (pitch),” Cedillo said. “We’ll pitch by committee and find out who steps up. We’ve got the pieces in place. It’s a matter of molding them into a team.”

Even with virtually an entire roster of prospective returnees – including seven players with batting averages above .400 – Cedillo expects some new additions.

“We’ve got some solid ones coming up,” he said. “There are kids who should help in middle school and our freshmen were really good soldiers. We’ve got to replace a pitcher with longevity and leadership. It’s a challenge. That’s why we start anew every year.”

SOFTBALL: Dragons sweep Steele, make second trip to regional semis


Southwest’s PONY champs reach semis for for first time since 2011

Southwest senior Kamerie Vidales was the winning pitcher in both games against Steele.
Southwest senior Kamerie Vidales was the winning pitcher in both games against Steele.
Southwest shortstop Krystal Salinas supplied a go-ahead double in the second inning of Game 2.
Southwest shortstop Kristal Salinas supplied a go-ahead double in the second inning of Game 2.



A delay of nearly two hours, fallout from afternoon storms Friday, gave Southwest plenty of time to overthink its good fortune — and endanger its status.

Fortunately for the Dragons, they were aware of the potential pitfalls associated with getting an early lead in a best-of-three series. They had been in Steele’s situation in the previous round.

“You just try to stay focused,” Southwest junior shortstop Kristal Salinas said. “Judson kind of relaxed in the second game, and we came back and had a big inning. We got them. You’ve got to keep that in mind all game long.”

Salinas drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first inning to add fuel to a rally that gave the Dragons (31-9) a three-run cushion, exactly as the Knights (19-14) had done Thursday. Southwest never lost its lead and completed a sweep of their District 28-5A rival with a 6-3 victory in the Class 5A Region IV quarterfinal series.

“We take losing really hard,” said Southwest senior pitcher Kamerie Vidales, who authored the complete-game win. “It’s almost more than we enjoy winning. As of right now, we’re going to stick together, no matter what – win or lose.”

The Dragons advance to play San Benito (27-4), which downed Los Fresnos 7-0 Friday in a one-game quarterfinal playoff. Interestingly, Southwest met San Benito in a regional-semfinal series in 2011, when Vidales and her classmates were freshmen. It was the only previous time that Southwest qualfied for the semifinals.

The Greyhounds swept postseason series against Southwest in 2010 and 2011. In their last meeting, then-freshman pitcher Amber Jasso limited the Dragons to two runs.

It has been a long, hard climb for Southwest to get back to that point, despite remaining one of the San Antonio area’s best programs.

“This team has been together a long time,” Salinas said. “We won three national championships in the PONY league, but we kept running into obstacles in the playoffs in high school. We weren’t able to get past the second round.

”It’s amazing.”

The Dragons scored fewer than 10 runs for just the second time in seven postseason games this year. Vidales kept Steele scoreless over the last five innings.

“Ever since we lost to South San (March 13),” sixth-year Southwest coach Sandy Hernandez said, “we’ve learned that we have to score as many runs as we can. We took control on the mound. That was the difference in this game.”

Southwest scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, after Salinas notched a leadoff single.

Two runs scored on throwing error on Kayla Arguello’s grounder. Vidales made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly

“It wasn’t as much stress,” Salinas said. “They started off 3-0 (Thursday). But you can’t let your guard down. You’ve got to keep going.

“There was not one point where we didn’t. They’re a good team. Everybody is in the playoffs.”

The Knights tied it in the second inning.

Steele’s first run scored on a bases-loaded walk to freshman Savanna Bonola. Amanda Thacker brought in the Knights’ last two runs with a single to left-center. Steele left two runners on base.

Vidales also stranded a runner at third in the fourth inning and left the bases loaded in the fifth after Mersadi Garcia wedged a two-out single through the infield.

“Kam stepped up,” Hernandez said. “She did a great job of getting out of that bases-loaded situation. She was just big. I knew I could count on her to come to play.”

Southwest took the lead in the bottom of the second on doubles from Miranda Gonzales and Salinas (2-for-4, RBI).

Vidales led off the third with a single to center field. With one out, Caitlin Terrazas drove a home run over the left-field fence. It was her ninth home run of the season, but just the second of the series for the Dragons, who hit three in the decisive game of their area-round set against Judson.

The Knights manufactured one last potential threat, but an outstanding defensive play helped Vidales escape without giving up a run.

Alexis Walkden led off the sixth with a base hit down the left-field line. Thacker (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) sent a double to the center-field fence. Steele had two runners in scoring position with no outs, and Walkden made a break for the plate.

A relay throw from Southwest senior center fielder Liz Phillips to Salinas to senior catcher Gabby Flores prevented the run. Vidales retired the last four Knights batters in order.

“I know, in yesterday’s game, we didn’t show what we could do until the end,” Vidales said. “I tried to stay focused the whole game. You never know what can happen at the end.”

It would be easy to characterize Southwest-San Benito as power hitters versus slap hitters, but the Dragons coach indicated that would be an oversimplification.

“Elias Martinez is still coaching them and they’ve still got Amber Jasso,” Hernandez said, “but she isn’t pitching this year.

“They’ve still got some good bunters, but they have some good hitters, too. They can do it all. We have to be ready for anything.”

The regional semifinal series will be played entirely at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The first game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. If necessary, two games will take place on Saturday. Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. The third game would take place 30 minutes after its completion, if it’s required to determine a winner.

The Greyhounds were tied for 10th in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches association state poll. Southwest was unranked.

Vidales remembers the 2011 series against San Benito, although it isn’t a fond memory.

“It was a hard series,” the senior said. “We kind of fell apart. We came at them with what we had, but we came up short.”

Mental toughness has been Southwest’s calling card this season.


SOFTBALL: Fernandez steps forward to salvage Game 1 for Southwest


Junior drives in three during decisive seventh-inning rally


This year’s Southwest team may not be as dominant as some of its predecessors, but it may have an intangible on its side that’s capable of propelling the Dragons as far.

That hard to define trait manifests itself as an ability to manufacture of inspriation when their backs are against the wall. The Dragons (30-9) did it again in their Region IV quarterfinal series opener Thursday at the Northeast ISD complex’s east field, scoring seven runs in the top of the seventh to turn a deficit into an 11-9 victory over District 28-5A Steele (19-13).

Junior second baseman Yanira Fernandez provided the spark three times in a span of about half an hour. The first was a diving stop that prevented a Knights run in the bottom of the sixth, which helped senior pitcher Kamerie Vidales escape a bases-loaded jam. She batted twice in the seventh, belting a home run and driving in the two runs that signified the margin of victory.

“It was a little bit difficult,” Fernandez said, of her defensive play with the Knights leading 5-4. “I just focused on getting the runner out.”

Game 2 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight at the SAISD Mary Ann Villarreal Complex on Field No. 1. A win would put the Dragons in the regional semifinals for the first time since 2011 and second time in school history. A third game would take place 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Northside ISD Field No. 2, if necessary.

The series winner will play the Los Fresnos-San Benito winner. Those teams meet in a one-game playoff at 7 p.m. tonight at San Benito. The Dragons have played San Benito twice in the postseason during Southwest coach Sandy Hernandez’s six years at the helm.

Fernandez (3-for-5, 3 RBIs) hits fifth in the Southwest order between power hitters Vidales (11 home runs) and Caitlin Terrazas (8 home runs). The junior is more of a gap hitter, but she got a little extra on her tying drive to left-center for her first home run since April 17.

The date is significant, because it accounted for the Dragons’ run in a 4-1 district-finale loss to Steele.

“When one of us hits, it’s like starting a train,” Fernandez said. “It starts a train reaction. It’s good that we have a team that can do something like that”

Her fourth home run of the season was followed by a pair of outs, which delayed the reaction. The Dragons got new life when Miranda Gonzales drew a walk and Amanda Sanchez was safe on a dropped popup.

The next five Southwest batters recorded hits.

“They refuse to lose,” Hernandez said of her team. “We go 16 deep. I knew if I one could get a hit, the next one could go in there and get a hit.”

Junior Kristal Salinas (2-for-4, RBI) drove a two-run single to left and ran aggressively on senior Liz Phillips’ double to left-center field. Kayla Arguello added a single that increased Southwest’s lead to 9-5.

An opposite-field double from Vidales meant that six-consecutive batters had reached base. Fernandez drove in the Dragons’ last two runs with a single to right.

“That was the only thing stuck in my mind,” Fernandez said. “I needed to get the team two more runs.”

Hernandez wasn’t surprised by Fernandez’s heroics, although she is known more for quiet contributions. She threw out a runner at the plate for Steele’s second out in the sixth after stopping a would-be base hit from No. 3 hitter Alexis Walkden.

“The biggest thing is that YaYa never really plays scared,” she said. “She made the pick up and made the play. Then she came back and made two shots. She drove that one over the fence and then that single.

“She’s a silent killer.”

Steele, which had led 5-3 in the bottom of the third, wasn’t done scoring.

The first three Knights batters reached base ahead of an infield fly. The batter was out, but runners could advance at their own risk. Two scored, cutting the Dragons’ lead to four.

No. 9 hitter Jenelle Pence and freshman Savanna Bonola produced back-to-back RBI singles before Vidales was able to record the last two outs.

Steele drew five walks and used a sacrifice fly to score three runs and chase Terrazas from the pitcher’s circle in the first. Runs were scored on a bases-loaded walk to Miranda Holguin, a sacrifice fly from Knights pitcher Jennifer Hittinger and a passed ball.

The Dragons closed to 3-2 in the second when two runs scored when Sanchez’s ground out was misplayed. Southwest tied it on a third-inning throwing error as Steele attempted to turn a double play.

A sacrifice fly from Holguin and an error brought Steele a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Southwest answered in the fifth, when Vidales (3-for-5, RBI) drove a run-scoring single.

“I we they were going to have a big inning,” Hernandez said, “though I’d like it to be in the first five or so. But I knew eventually we’d come together and get it done.”

SOFTBALL: Dragons hitters solve Rockets’ pitching

Judson can’t contain Southwest’s offense in area round


Fourth-year starter Kamerie Vidales hit two home runs in decisive Game 3 against Judson.
Fourth-year starter Kamerie Vidales hit two home runs in decisive Game 3 against Judson.
Caitlin Terrazas lifted Southwest past the Rockets with her pitching and hitting.
Caitlin Terrazas lifted Southwest past the Rockets with her pitching and hitting.




Like an iceberg, there’s much more to Southwest’s potent hitting attack than the part you see at the surface.

The impetus behind the Dragons’ run-scoring machine is a combination of hard work and determination. Factor in the experience that comes with seven fourth-year varsity players, and it’s easy to understand how Southwest (29-9) is capable of burying opponents.
The Dragons, No. 4 in the final Express-News area rankings, did just that to No. 2 Judson (28-8) over the last two contests in their three-game
Class 5A area-round series. The Rockets won the opener 8-4 last Thursday. Southwest showed its resiliance with a 14-4 win on Friday and a 14-7 decision on Saturday.

“Our team is made up of nothing but hitters,” said Southwest senior Kamerie Vidales, who popped a solo home run and a three-run shot in the series finale. “Hitting is our team right now.”

Judson got the crucial hits in the series opener, including an RBI single from Brenda Iparraguirre (3-for-4, 4 RBIs) in the three-run fourth inning and her two-run single in the sixth. Southwest led 2-1 in the second when senior Amanda Sanchez’s two-out single was misplayed for two errors. The Rockets’ tied it on Nicole Shedd’s RBI double and kept the hits coming at the Northeast ISD Complex east field.

“I’ve worked very hard on (my change-up),” Judson pitcher Michelle Iparraguirre said. “That was very important to our game plan, which was to keep them off-balance.”

A double to the right-field fence from senior Kayla Arguello (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) drove in Liz Phillips in the fifth brought the Dragons within 6-3. Arguello also supplied an RBI single in the seventh.

“(Iparraguire) mixed the curve in and kept us off-balancee,” Southwest coach Sandy Hernandez said. “She held us to five hits. That’s got to be the fewest this year.

“We’ll have to break down it down to see what we can do to hit her better.”

Southwest responded with a 10-run, second-inning bonanza after the Rockets grabbed a 3-0 lead in Game 2 at Villarreal Field No. 1. Winning pitcher Caitlin Terrazas hit the Dragons’ only home run among their 13 hits over six innings.

“I feel like we’re more of a team,” Vidales said, comparing this year’s Dragons to recent seasons. “We’re not a one-person show. From freshman year to now, we’ve built relationships that can’t be broken.”

Judson forged a 3-0 lead over the first three innings in Game 3 behind a home run from Caitlin Mora and an RBI single from Brenda Iparraguirre. The Dragons’ comeback also was built around the long ball.

“I couldn’t ask anything more as a coach,” Hernandez said. “All 16 of them stepped up a little bit. In the dugout, everybody was together. When we come together, we’re tough to beat.”

Senior Kristal Salinas provided an RBI single in the bottom of the third. Vidales’ first home run cut the deficit to a run.

“Honestly, I didn’t go up trying to hit a home run,” Vidales said. “I was trying to bring runs in. She kind of threw it over the middle, and I took it out.”

Singles by Yanira Fernandez and Miranda Gonzales helped Southwest gain a 4-3 lead after four innings at Northside ISD Field No. 1. Vidales’ second home run, and 11th of the season, made it 7-4. The Dragons’ lead grew by two more runs with help from a Fernandez double.

The Rockets closed to 9-7 in their half of the sixth on a three-run homer from Shedd. That merely set the stage for Terrazas’ game-clinching grand slam.

“It was a great feeling,” Terrazas said. “It didn’t matter what the score was. In the box, I knew what I was looking for. I just stuck to the plan.

“It felt just awesome. I was just looking for something to drive. I guess (Iparraguire) missed her spot.”

Arguello lined a leadoff single and Vidales, who had homered in two previous plate appearances, was issued an intentional walk. The bases were loaded after Fernandez singled to center field.

“Getting those extra insurance runs really helped,” Terrazas said. “I always pitch well when I have some cushion. It’s always a contagious feeling when we’re hitting and scoring.”

Southwest kept pouring it on.

A walk to Gabby Flores and singles from Sanchez and Kristal Salinas re-loaded the bases. Phillips worked a base on balls for an RBI and a 14-7 lead.

Terrazas retired the first two Rockets batters in the seventh. Following a single from Alexis Eleman, the junior induced a ground out to end the series.

“I would have to say (it’s) our work ethic,” Terrazas said, explaining the Dragons’ offensive success. “We spend a lot of time on hitting.

“We know, at this point in the playoffs, there’s pressure, but we know we’ve got to do this. We don’t have

many distractions because we love to do this. That’s what makes us so strong at the plate.”

The Dragons reached the Region IV quarterfinals for the first time since 2011, when they advanced to the semifinals.

Southwest will play District 28-5A rival Steele (19-12) in the best-of-three series, which begins Thursday with a game at the NEISD east field. Friday’s game is at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1. The series will shift to Northside ISD Field No. 2 for Game 3 Saturday, if necessary.

“We definitely respect everyone we go against,” Terrazas said. “We can’t let our guards down. We have to keep our team grounded.

“Our team has come together well. We just have to play our best. It’s a matter of executing and contributing.”

Southwest was the district champion with an 8-2 record. Rapidly improving Steele (4-6 in district) was the No. 4 seed.

“I always knew they were good,” Hernandez said. “They’ve got (Jennifer) Hittinger on the mound and (Alexis) Walkden) is a great player. We respect every team equally and prepare for every team equally.”


SOFTBALL: San Marcos slips past East Central in 2 nail-biters



East Central didn’t go down without a fight.

In fact, the Hornets (24-8) succumbed to San Marcos (29-9) in a best-of-three Class 5A area-round series last weekend by the slimmest of margins. The Rattlers prevailed 5-4 Thursday at East Central and 4-3 Friday at San Marcos.

San Marcos, which claimed its first area championship since 1999, took the early lead in both games and only briefly relinquished it.

The Rattlers scored four runs in the first inning of Game 1. They had a 5-0 lead midway through the fourth inning, when East Central began its comeback with a run in the bottom of the inning.

The Hornets scored twice in the sixth and turned an inning-ending double play in the Rattlers’ half of the inning to take momentum into the final frame. East Central trailed 5-3 going into the seventh.

East Central scored a run in the bottom of the seventh before San Marcos pitcher Victoria Vasquez induced a pair of fly outs. Junior Madison Strunk was pitcher of record for the Hornets. San Marcos finished with 12 hits to East Central’s eight.

Game 2 unfolded differently. Although San Marcos again scored first on a home run from Stephanie Marmelejo, East Central gained the upper hand with two runs in the second inning.

San Marcos tied it in the third, when Mariah Delgado scored on a wild pitch, and gained a 4-2 lead in the fourth with help from East Central errors. The Hornets scored the game’s last run in the fifth.

BASEBALL PLAYOFF WEEKLY REPORT: Harlandale makes solid showing vs. No. 3 Calallen

Brandeis shuts down Southwest




TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Central Catholic, Harlandale, Highlands, South San, Southwest.

Burbank competed against Hays for the second-consecutive year. Arturo Martinez is pictured.
Burbank competed against Hays for the second-consecutive year. Arturo Martinez is pictured.
South San squared off against O'Connor in the bi-district round. Junior Frank Bosmans dives back to the bag in a previous game.
South San squared off against O’Connor in the bi-district round. Junior Frank Bosmans dives back to the bag in a previous game.
Highlands fell to Seguin in a single-game, bi-district playoff. First baseman Gilbert Gomez executes a stretch in a previous game.
Highlands fell to Seguin in a single-game, bi-district playoff. First baseman Gilbert Gomez executes a stretch in a previous game.

Young Harlandale gave a hint of what its bright future might entail as it battled Corpus Christi Calallen, No. 3 in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association poll, in a best-of-three series.

The Indians (12-14) battled the Wildcats (31-3) to a scoreless tie for the first 6 ½ innings in Game 2 before Calallen seized a walk-off win on Nathan Rabe’s hit in the bottom of the seventh. Calallen prevailed 1-0 Friday in Corpus Christi to sweep the series.

Harlandale also fell 14-3 Thursday at the Frank Tejeda Complex, but the final score was deceptive. The Indians trailed 3-1 after five innings against Wildcats ace lefty Dylan Duarte (8-0). Calallen scored three runs in the sixth and eight in the seventh, including a two-run double by Rabe and a pinch-hit, inside-the-park home run, by Reece Barrett that accounted for the Wildcats’ last three runs.

In Game 2, Harlandale left two runners on base in the fifth inning. Indians sophomore pitcher Richard Acosta limited Calallen to five hits. Ramzey Martinez and Smith had singles for Harlandale’s only hits against Wildcats pitcher Kyle Hill.

Hill struck out 12.

Harlandale senior left-hander Zachary Perez (10-4) limited Calallen to one run in the first three innings of the series opener.

Hunter Orozco was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Timothy Smith contributed an RBI. Perez also had one of Harlandale’s three hits. The Indians drew five walks.

Duarte struck out 11.

Brandeis 3-8, Southwest 1-0

The Broncos (16-12) won in a narrow escape in Game 1 Thursday at Southwest (12-12-1), then routed the Dragons Friday at Northside Field No. 2.

Brandeis took the lead with two runs in the third inning of Game 1. The Dragons slashed the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth. Cerda walked and Daniel Garcia hit a single to left field. After a force out at the plate, Garcia stole home on a walk to Ricky Fernandez.

The Broncos added an insurance run in the top of the seventh by stealing home.

Southwest pitcher Joseph Cerda scattered nine hits. Sophomore Juan Carlos Hernandez went 2-for-3 for the Dragons. Brandeis’ Tyler Lester limited the Dragons to three hits while striking out seven.

In Game 2, Brandeis scored all eight of its runs in the first two innings, with help from three doubles.

Eli Pacheco and Hernandez both were 2-for-3 for Southwest. The Broncos outhit the Dragons 9-6.

Clemens 6-12, Brackenridge 2-0

The Buffaloes (19-9) relied on a sacrifice fly from Eric Rabinowitz and a two-run home run from Dustin Boatman to lift them to victory against Brackenridge (14-10) in Game 1 at Clemens.

Brackenridge junior Brayan Guerrero drew a walk in the first inning and took third on an errant pickoff throw. Tristen Cortinas then collected the RBI with a single for a 1-0 Eagles lead.

Clemens went ahead 2-1 on consecutive doubles from winning pitcher Tyler Giovanoni, Derek Frey and Boatman in the bottom of the inning.

Brack scored in the third when Guerrero drew a walk, advanced on Jongregory Gonzales’ sacrifice bunt and

scored on Mario Roldan’s single. The Eagles were within 3-2.

Giovanoni limited the Eagles to three hits and one earned run while striking out eight in the opener.

In Game 2 at SAISD No. 1, Clemens took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning. The Buffaloes scored four runs in that inning and six in the sixth to invoke the 10-run rule.

Brackenridge received singles from Guerrero and senior Alex Hammerli as well as a walk to Robert Gonzalez against Clemens pitcher J.J. Elkins.

For the Eagles, Robert Rangel pitched the first five innings, allowing just two earned runs. Roldan gave up no earned runs.

Hays 8-7, Burbank 0-3

Burbank (8-18-1) gave the District 27-4A champion Rebels (25-4) a challenge in the second game of the best-of-three Class 4A bi-district series Friday at Hays, but couldn’t avoid a sweep.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in Game 2 when Jonathan Alanis walked, advanced on J Gonzales’ base hit and scored on the back end of a double steal.

Hays used a three-run triple for Justin Montana to forge a five-run rally in the third. The Bulldogs closed to 5-2 in the fourth when Arturo Martinez singled and came home on Tristan Settles’ fielder’s choice.

The Rebels added two more runs in the fifth to effectively put the game out of Burbank’s reach, as it enabled Hays to bring in closer Trey Dickerson for the last two innings.

Burbank scored its last 2014 run in the sixth. Martinez, Luke and Warren walked. Alanis (2-for-2, RBI) loaded the bases with a single. Martinez tagged and scored on a foul popup.

Jonathan Martinez and Alanis contributed doubles for the Bulldogs.

In Game 1, Rebels pitcher Tyler Woodmansee, a Texas A&M signee, pitched a no-hitter Thursday at SAISD Field No. 1. Woodmansee struck out eight while walking none.

Hays scored four runs in the first inning, one in the third and three in the fourth. The Rebels mustered 13 hits and 12 were singles.

O’Connor 11-4, South San 0-0

Jose Rodriguez two-run home run in the fifth inning and a solo shoto in the seventh to carry the Panthers (30-1), No. 1 in the THSBCA Class 5A poll, to a Game 2 victory over South San (14-15) Friday at Burrows-Gustafson Stadium. O’Connor also won Thursday at Northside ISD Field No. 2, as it swept the Class 5A bi-district series.

John Gamez kept the Panthers scoreless the first three innings of Game 2. South San’s Nick Herrera hit a double in the second inning, but was stranded at third base. Gamez had a two-out double in the third, but the Bobcats weren’t able to advance him.

O’Connor pitcher Kolby Lunsford held the Bobcats to two hits. Gamez struck out five and scattered eight hits. Lunsford also struck out five.

In Game 1, the Panthers scored l of their runs in the first four innings. The game ended in the fifth because of the 10-run rule. Gamez had South San’s only hit against O’Connor pitcher Tommy Wilson.

Houston St. Pius X 9, Central Catholic 1

Houston St. Pius X senior pitcher Jerry Murillo limited Central Catholic (16-13) to three hits as the Panthers (18-14) won the TAPPS Class 5A area-round game Monday at Weimar.

Murillo pitched a complete game, striking out 11 in seven innings.

The Panthers scored three runs in the first inning, aided by a two-run single from Murillo. They added two runs in each of the next two innings for a 7-0 advantage. Each of St. Pius X’s first seven hits was a single.

For Central Catholic, Chris Olvera led off the sixth with a line-drive double and scored on an error with Zack Arambula at the plate.

Seguin 11, Highlands 0

The Matadors (22-4-1) defeated the Owls (10-14) in a single-game Class 4A bi-district playoff Friday at Smokey Joe Williams Field in Seguin.

Seguin scored all of its runs in two innings as Bubba Miculka and Andrew Kuehne combined on a three-hit shutout. Miculka struck out five in four innings.

The Matadors erupted for eight runs in the second inning behind a two-run single from Trevor Kilcrease and produced three more in the fourth to end the game via the 10-run rule.

Highlands loaded the bases with no outs twice, but was not able to manufacture a run.

In the third, senior Gustavo Castro was safe on an infield single and Bryan Aguilar added a base hit ahead of a walk to Joshua Ortega. The same trio all drew walks in the fifth.

Freshman John Cruz had a two-out double in the second inning.

Travis York had a double and three RBIs for the Matadors.


BASEBALL: McCollum can’t quite get over the hump vs. G-P

Cowboys lose close one in Game 1, but Wildcats romp in Game 2




McCollum was able to break up Gregory-Portland’s no-hit bid Friday at the Frank Tejeda Complex, but couldn’t break the Wildcats in the best-of-three Class 4A bi-district series.

In a gem of an opening game, G-P side-armer Tristan Busse and Cowboys senior Jesse Medina dueled through seven scoreless innings. In two plays in the top of the eighth, however, the Wildcats found a way to claim a 2-0 victory.

“That’s baseball,” first-year McCollum coach Hector Delgadillo said. “A couple of things didn’t go our way and a couple of things went there way. They got hits when they needed to and those guys can run. They took advantage.”

Saturday at Gregory-Portland, the host team stormed to a 10-0 win and swept the series. All eight area playoff qualifiers were eliminated last week.

“Those guys are tough,” Gregory-Portland coach Fred Flores said of the Cowboys. “I tip my hat to coach Delgadillo. He’s a guy that definitely has control of his team. He’s calm and in control, a lot like coach (Jesse) Garza last year.

“They gave us all we could handle.”

In Game 1, Busse took a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh. His ball movement resulted in few hard hit balls, and two of those from Ralph Ramirez ended as fly outs. Busse struck out 10.

“He’s one of those sinker-slider guys,” Flores said. “The ball never hit the same spot in the strike zone twice.”

Neither team advanced a runner past second base until the seventh inning. Through three innings against left-hander Medina, Gregory-Portland’s Sage Hamon had the game’s only hit.

Cowboys senior Dominick Ortiz was safe on an error, leading off the fourth inning, as was Hector Arevalo in the sixth. McCollum left three runners on base through six, compared to two for the Wildcats.

In the McCollum seventh, Medina was the man who recorded the Cowboys’ first hit, a single to left field with one out. His courtesy runner, Chris Herrera, stole second base and slid under the tag at third on Rene Martinez’s deep fly out. However, another fly out sent the game into extra innings.

“We had our chances,” Delgadillo said. “The guys didn’t do the little things, like get bunts down or drive in runs with two outs. You have to get hits with runners on base to win these games. We didn’t come through.”

Medina scattered five hits through seven innings. He struck out seven.

“My hat’s off to Jesse,” Delgadillo said. “He’s a senior on the mound. I told him we needed him in Game 1, for seven, eight or nine innings – whatever he could give us. He did what I asked him to.”

Gregory-Portland’s Ely Gordon and Tristan Pena greeted Medina with back-to-back singles, leading off the eighth. Pena’s was misplayed for a three-base error. Both Gordon and Pena scored on the play.

Sage Hamon followed with a third–straight single and Heaven Garcia was summoned to relieve Medina. McCollum second baseman A.J. Vasquez executed a nice play on a chopper up the middle to end the inning and prevent another G-P run.

In the Cowboys’ half of the eighth, Ryan Villalobos reached base on an error and Ortiz added a single to right field with two outs. Busse extinguished the threat with his last strikeout.

Wildcats pitcher Blane Hamon shut out the Cowboys on Saturday.

Gregory-Portland led just 1-0 through three innings, but erupted for six runs in the fourth behind doubles from Tim Rogers (2 RBIs) and Gesier (RBI). The game ended after another Wildcats rally in the fifth.

SOFTBALL: Area playoff schedule/results (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of May 4-10

Monday’s game


State quarterfinals

Victoria St. Joseph (24-11) 10, Holy Cross (26-11-1) (Victoria St. Joseph advances)


Thursday’s game


Region IV quarterfinals

Southwest (30-9) 11, Steele (19-13) 9 (best-of-3 series, Southwest leads 1-0)


Friday’s game


Region IV quarterfinals

Southwest (31-9) 6, Steele (19-14) 3 (best-of-3 series, Southwest wins 2-0; advances to play San Benito in Region IV semifinals)


Saturday’s game


Region IV quarterfinals

Southwest (30-9) vs. Steele (19-13) at Northside ISD Field No. 2, 7:30 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): (best-of-3 series, Southwest leads 1-0)

Games of May 11-17

Friday’s game


Region IV semifinals

Southwest (31-9) vs. San Benito (27-4) at Texas A&M-Kingsville, 7 p.m. Game 1: best-of-3 series

Saturday’s game


Region IV semifinals

Southwest (31-9) vs. San Benito (27-4) at Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2 p.m. Game 2: best-of-3 series

Southwest (31-9) vs. San Benito (27-4) at Texas A&M-Kingsville, 4:30 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): best-of-3 series