BASEBALL: Burbank falls short despite late rally against Hays

By Mike Considine

FOR A FULL STORY ON THE BURBANK-HAYS BASEBALL PLAYOFF SERIES (May 3-4, 2013), click here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Burbank-boys-fall-to-Hays-in-playoffs-4492369.php

Senior center fielder Nick Canas had his best game of the season, but the Bulldogs (13-16) couldn’t quite catch Hays (19-9) Friday in Buda.

The Rebels scored three runs in the first inning and swept the best-of-three Class 4A bi-district series against Burbank. The Bulldogs were eliminated with a 9-7 loss.

“I think, if we could have gotten to a third game,” Burbank coach Romeo Barrera said, “I would have liked our chances. They ended up bringing in their ace in the seventh inning, after he had pitched the night before. So, obviously, they had a sense of urgency.”

Canas had three hits in his final game, all for extra bases. The senior hit a solo home run in the second inning that brought Burbank within 3-1. He also belted a double and a triple to drive in three runs.

The Bulldogs scored in the fifth inning and manufactured a five-run rally in the sixth. Unfortunately for Burbank, the combustible Rebels had produced another big rally by then.

Hays increased its lead to 8-1 in the fourth inning. Burbank cut it to 8-7 in the top of the sixth, but Hays added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning.

The Bulldogs weren’t able to score in their last at-bat against Hays reliever Tyler Woodmansee, who had limited the Bulldogs to five hits while striking out 10 in Game 1.

Burbank starting pitcher Andy Morales drove in two runs. Fellow senior Eduardo Salas also collected an RBI.

Bulldogs sophomore catcher Conrad Perez drew three walks and senior Matt Ramirez walked twice.

Hays took the lead early in both games of the series. The Rebels pulled away to a 10-1 victory in the series opener at SAISD Field No. 1 Thursday.

“They’ve got a pretty good mix of kids,” Barrera said of Hays’ offense. “They have some little guys and some power hitters. They’re a pretty solid team. Their ace is pretty ‘lights out.’ ”

The Rebels scored in the first inning on a sacrifice fly from Dalton Niles, which followed a double from Texas State signee Granger Studdard (2-for-2). Hays tacked on two more runs in the third, on an RBI triple from J.C. Cerda and a second sacrifice fly from Niles.

A grand slam home run by Studdard helped Hays build an 8-0 lead in the sixth. Hays outhit Burbank 8-5.

Back-to-back triples by Adrian Acosta and Justin Montana in the top of the seventh led to two more Hays runs.

Burbank got on the board in its half of the last inning. Junior Jonathan Alanis drove in the run. Sophomore Arturo Martinez led the Bulldogs with two hits. Morales stole two bases.

The Bulldogs had won their previous three games.

WEEKEND SPORTS ROUNDUP: McCollum loss ends year for local baseball teams

Holy Cross softball only area team still alive in playoffs

By Mike Considine

And then there was one.

Holy Cross’ softball squad is the last local team standing after the second week of the playoffs. Six area UIL baseball teams were eliminated in the bi-district round and Central Catholic lost in the TAPPS area round, all in the first week.

McCollum was the last surviving baseball team.

The Cowboys had lost their Class 4A best-of-three series opener to Gregory-Portland Thursday and trailed from the bottom of the first inning Saturday on the way to a 12-2 loss at the Corpus Christi area school.

Holy Cross (23-14-2) will play Fort Bend Christian (24-13) from Sugar Land 7 p.m. Monday in the TAPPS 4A region round. If they Knights win the game at Texas A&M, they’ll advance to the state semifinals.

Baseball

McCollum

Gregory-Portland (23-7-1) wrested the lead from McCollum (22-6) in the bottom of the first inning of their Class 4A bi-district game Saturday. The Cowboys had scored in the top half of the inning.

The Wildcats were playing longball in Game 2 of the series. Blake Harmon and Mickie Erwin hit home runs. Erwin’s was an inside-the-park shot. Ruben Martinez hit a bases-loaded triple in the fifth that ended the game due to the 10-run rule.

Gregory-Portland won the first game 10-4 Thursday at the Frank Tejeda Complex.

Senior Jonathan Arevalo led the Cowboys in Game 1 with two hits. Patrick Jauregui contributed a two-run triple to McCollum’s sixth-inning rally. Freshman Rafael Ramirez and junior Ryan Villalobos also drove in runs.

`McCollum stats from Saturday’s game were unavailable.

South San

The Bobcats (17-15) ended their season with a classic pitcher’s duel between O’Connor’s Mark Ecker, one of the area’s best, and underrated South San senior Joseph Valle.

O’Connor (25-4), No. 1 in the Express-News area rankings, escaped with a 1-0 victory in the Class 5A bi-district game at Burrows-Gustafson Stadium. The Panthers scored in the third inning. Daniel Cruz hit a double in the inning and Gavin Johnson (2-for-2) brought the run home with an RBI double.

Ecker (7-0, 0.98 ERA), a Texas A&M signee, allowed two hits and struck out nine Valle (5-5, 0.98 ERA) scattered eight hits, but he combined with the Bobcats’ defense to strand nine runners and throw out two at home plate.

South San put two runners on base in the fourth inning, after Ecker was hit with a line drive on his right leg. However, the Bobcats were unable to advance them with a bunt and Ecker got out of the jam.

Edison

The Golden Bears (15-15) , the No. 3 seed from District 29-4A, went out like the senior-dominated team they are.

Edison tied the score twice in the early going and rallied for three runs in the seventh Friday at SAISD Field No. 1, but couldn’t extend their Class 4A bi-district series to the limit. Kerrvillle Tivy handed Edison a heart-breaking loss 7-6.

The Golden Bears tied it 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning. Edison also responded in the fourth after the Antlers had broken the tie for a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning. But Tivy again took a one-run lead in the fifth and added three more runs in the top of the seventh.

Edison rallied for three runs of its own to close within a run in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t score the equalizer. Tivy took the lead on an unearned run.

Kerrville Tivy won the opening game in the best-of-three series 6-0 Thursday in Kerrville.

Burbank

Senior center fielder Nick Canas had his best game of the season, but the Bulldogs (13-16) couldn’t quite catch Hays (19-9) Friday in Buda.

The Rebels scored three runs in the first inning and swept the best-of-three series against Burbank. The Bulldogs were eliminated with a 9-7 loss.

“I think, if we could have gotten to a third game,” Burbank coach Romeo Barrera said, “I would have liked our chances. They ended up bringing in their ace in the seventh inning, after he had pitched the night before. So, obviously, they had a sense of urgency.”

Canas had three hits in his final game, all for extra bases. The senior hit a solo home run in the second inning that brought Burbank within 3-1. He also belted a double and a triple to drive in three runs.

The Bulldogs scored in the fifth inning and manufactured a five-run rally in the sixth. Unfortunately for Burbank, the combustible Rebels had produced another big rally by then.

Hays increased its lead to 8-1 in the fourth inning. Burbank cut it to 8-7 in the top of the sixth, but Hays added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning.

The Bulldogs weren’t able to score in their last at-bat against Hays reliever Tyler Woodmansee, who had limited the Bulldogs to five hits while striking out 10 in Game 1.

Burbank starting pitcher Andy Morales drove in two runs. Fellow senior Eduardo Salas also collected an RBI.

Bulldogs sophomore catcher Conrad Perez drew three walks and senior Matt Ramirez walked twice.

bottom of the seventh inning of their bi-district series opener at SAISD Field No. 1 Thursday.

Hays took the lead in the best-of-three series with a 10-1victory.

The Rebels scored in the first inning and tacked on two more runs in the third. A grand slam home run from Texas State signee Granger Studdard helped Hays build an 8-0 lead in the sixth. Hays outhit Burbank 8-5.

The Bulldogs had won their previous three games.

Harlandale

The Indians (13-13) rallied to within two runs of Victoria East (26-13) Friday at Riverside Stadium in Victoria, but the Titans prevailed 8-2 on their home field.

Harlandale strung together five consecutive hits with two outs in the third inning of the one-game Class 4A bi-district playoff. The two-run rally made the score 4-2 in Victoria East’s favor.

The Indians weren’t able to score again, despite nearly matching their hosts in hits. The Titans had eight hits against Harlandale ace Michael Agis (9-1, 0.51 ERA). Harlandale finished with seven hits.

Victoria East went to the bullpen after the Indians’ big inning. Relief pitcher Kyle Craft put up 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while striking out 10.

The Titans had success with a patient plate approach against Agis, who struck out seven. They had baserunners in each inning. After taking the lead with four runs in the second, they scored two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to assure the win.

Highlands

The Owls (8-18) managed five hits against District 27-4A champion Clemens (20-8) and its ace pitcher, J.J. Elkins, at SAISD Field No. 2 Friday.

The Buffaloes won 13-0 in the one-game playoff. They produced three big innings, scoring three runs in the second, four in the fourth and ending the game with six in the fifth.

Garrett Kizer hit a home run for Clemens. The Buffaloes finished with 14 hits.

Highlands had won its final district game and a fourth-place tiebreaker to reach the playoffs.

Central Catholic

The Buttons (22-10-1) ended their season last Wednesday with a 6-3 loss at Houston St. Thomas (26-6) in the TAPPS Class 5A area round.

St. Thomas is coached by former Houston Astros all-star Craig Biggio. Rawlings Elam, Greg Hoffman and Cavan Biggio, the coach’s son, all had two hits for the Eagles. Hunter Pallasch hit a home run and drove in three runs.

Softball

Southwest

New Braunfels Canyon (31-5) closed out the Class 5A area-round battle of two of the best teams in the metroplex, defeating the Dragons (31-7) 8-6 Friday at Southwest.

Canyon, No. 2 in the Express-News area rankings, staked out an eight-run lead in the first five innings behind senior pitcher Marilee Burge. The Cougars took the lead with help from a solo home run by Bianca Prada and a four-run outburst in the fifth.

They had to hold off a furious rally by the Dragons, who seldom lose on their home field, thereafter. No. 4 Southwest began its comeback with senior shortstop Miranda Medina’s 10th home run of the season in the sixth inning.

Trailing 8-2, the Dragons got another home run from catcher Gabby Flores in the seventh. Consecutive doubles from Amanda Sanchez and Elizabeth Phillips, followed by a run-scoring Canyon error brought Southwest within three runs. Freshman Caitlin Terrazas added another run with a two-out, RBI single.

Canyon ended the game on a ground out.

Local teams blanked on cold, cold night

Five area teams need a win tonight to continue seasons

By Mike Considine

The band Three Dog Night took its name from the Australian expression for an extremely chilly night. That was literally and figuratively what three area baseball teams and two local softball teams experienced Thursday.

None of the four local teams were winners in the first night of their best-of-three series. Furthermore, East Central’s softball team watched one of the best seasons in the school’s history come to an end.

Softball

Southwest

The Dragons (31-6), No. 4 in the Express-News area rankings, battled a tough New Braunfels Canyon (30-5) team hard before coming up on the short end in New Braunfels.

The second-ranked Cougars won 7-4 in the area-roundseries opener. The series resumes with a 7 p.m. game tonight at Southwest. If the Dragons win, the finale will take place 7 p.m. Saturday at Steele.

Canyon made it tough on Southwest early. They put up six of seven runs in the bottom of the first.

The Dragons narrowed the gap a bit with single runs in the second and third innings, but Canyon added an insurance run in the bottom of the third. Southwest scored its last two runs in the sixth..

Canyon’s Marilee Burge was the winning pitcher. The loss ended Southwest’s five-game winning streak.

East Central

East Central (21-12) found itself facing a deficit it couldn’t overcome not too far into its winner-take-all game against powerhouse Smithson Valley (21-7) Thursday at the Mary Ann Villarreal Complex Field No. 1. The Hornets lost 17-2.

The Rangers, No. 3 in the Express-News rankings, scored three runs in the first on a three-run home run by Celena Massey that rode a 40-mph wind out of the park. They added five in the second for an 8-0. Then they really got rolling.

Smithson Valley put the area-round game out of reach with a nine-run rally in the third, fed by two Hornets errors.

The Hornets scored both of their runs in the fourth inning. Sophomore Haydi Burgarin tripled and score d on an error. Classmate Madison Strunk added an RBI single.

They were limited to four hits by Rangers pitcher Ryan Mergele. Smithson Valley, which won the 2012 Class 4A title, had 15 in extending its winning streak to nine games.

East Central had won seven of its previous eight games. The Hornets advanced to the area round for the second time in three years.

Baseball

Burbank

The Bulldogs (13-15) weren’t able to score until the bottom of the seventh inning of their bi-district series opener at SAISD Field No. 1 Thursday.

Hays (18-9) took the lead in the best-of-three series with a 10-1victory.

The Rebels scored in the first inning and tacked on two more runs in the third. A four-run outburst in the sixth built an 8-0 lead for Hays. Granger Studdard hit a home run for Hays, which outhit Burbank 8-5.

The Bulldogs had won their previous three games.

The series moves to Hays’ home field in Buda for a 7 p.m. game tonight. If the Bulldogs win, the teams will return to the SAISD Complex for a 1 p.m. game Saturday.

Edison

Kerrville Tivy pitcher Payeton Becker shut out the Golden Bears (14-13) in the first game of the best-of-three series. Becker allowed four hits as the Antlers (21-7-1) claimed a 6-0 victory.

Tivy, which had 11 hits, never looked back after scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning in Kerrville. The Antlers increased their lead to 4-0 in the fifth and scored twice in the sixth.

The Antlers finished with 11 hits.

Edison returns home, looking for the equalizer in the bi-district series. The 7 p.m. game on SAISD Field No. 1 is part of a doubleheader at the complex. Highlands (8-17) will play Clemens (19-8-2) in a winner-take-all game at the same time on Field No. 2.

The final game of the Golden Bears-Tivy series is scheduled for noon Saturday in Kerrville.

McCollum

Gregory-Portland (22-7-1) scored eight runs in the first two innings Thursday at the Frank Tejeda Complex. The fast start helped the Wildcats defeat McCollum (22-5) 10-4 in the first game of a best-of-three series.

The Wildcats scored three runs in the first inning and erupted for five in the second inning, before the Cowboys scored their first run in the bottom of the second. McCollum closed within 8-4 in the sixth, but G-P scored twice in its half of the seventh.

The teams will take the day off Friday. The series resumes at noon Saturday at Gregory-Portland, with the third game to follow it, if necessary.

SOFTBALL: Delay gives Southwest extra time to score runs in sweep of Brandeis

By Mike Considine

The lightning delay Southwest had to endure last Saturday, ultimately, only postponed the inevitable.

Resuming Monday with the seven-run lead it had when the delay went into effect, the Dragons (31-5) quickly escaped the sixth inning and got to work offensively. Southwest’ added two runs in the top of the seventh inning to sweep the best-of-three series with a 12-3 victory.

Brandeis, which finished its season 20-9, was batting with one out in the sixth inning when lightning was spotted in the vicinity of Mary Ann Villarreal Complex Field No. 1. When the Class 5A bi-district game picked up Monday at the same spot in the contest and at the same location, the Broncos had a runner at first base.

Junior pitcher Kamerie Vidales, who hit a three-run home run in the first inning, left the Broncos runner stranded. The Dragons, who hadn’t scored since putting up seven runs in the third inning, proceeded to complete the sweep with the two-run rally.

Freshman first baseman Caitlin Terrazas drove in Southwest’s 11th run with a base hit. Catcher Gabby Flores boosted the Dragons’ lead to nine with a sacrifice fly.

Vidales led Southwest with five RBIs. Terrazas contributed two hits and was robbed of another by an outstanding running catch from Broncos center fielder Melissa Rodriguez. Krystal Salinas added three walks and a sacrifice fly for Southwest.

Brandeis ended Southwest’s 2012 season by upsetting the Dragons in a one-game playoff.

In this series, the Dragons came back from a four-run deficit to defeat Brandeis 8-4 in Game 1 on Friday. They scored the first 10 runs in Game 2.

Southwest will play New Braunfels Canyon (29-5) in the area round. The best-of-three series will begin Thursday in New Braunfels with a 7 p.m. game. The teams will travel to Southwest for a 7 p.m. game  Friday. The third game, if necessary,  will be played at 7 p.m. on neutral ground at Steele in Cibolo.

The Cougars swept their bi-district series against Madison last weekend, winning 15-2 and 11-1.

SPORTS ROUNDUP: Holy Cross softball advances with decisive win; Southwest on hold until Monday

Harlandale, Kennedy improve placings in 29-4A baseball finales

Holy Cross, Southwest return to action Monday

By Mike Considine

The same storm that took the fun out of the Fiesta Flambeau parade put a damper on Southwest’s plans, too – even before a drop of rain fell.

A few hours earlier, however, Holy Cross (23-14-2) was having a blast under overcast skies. The Knights drubbed Houston Northland Christian 13-1 Saturday afternoon at Holy Cross in a regional game.

In the prime-time games, Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway eliminated Harlandale 2-0 and Southwest (30-5) was leading Brandeis 10-3 when a lightning delay hit at about 9:05 p.m. Near the end of the UIL-mandated, post-strike, 20-minute waiting period, during which no lightning must be present in the area, it was mutually agreed that the teams would finish the game at 6 p.m. Monday at the same location, Mary Ann Villarreal Complex Field No. 1.

The game was just eight outs away from completion.

The first game of the series on Friday was an 8-4 comeback win for the Dragons (30-5). Saturday, Southwest romped to a 10-0 lead before the Broncos (20-8) got their offense going.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride,” Southwest coach Sandra Hernandez said. “We’ll play pretty well, but then we’ll have one bad inning. Our defense has been on. We just need to stay up on top of (our opportunities).”

No playoff spots were at stake on the final day of the District 29-5A play, but a couple of ties were broken.

Harlandale finished ahead of Uvalde in third place after senior Michael Agis pitched the Indians to a 2-0 victory. The teams were tied before the game in Uvalde.

Kennedy and Floresville were tied for fifth place before their game in Floresville Saturday. Kennedy owned fifth after defeating the Tigers 5-3.

Softball

Southwest

Before the delay, the Dragons carved out an impressive start, building on an 8-4 win in Game 1. Southwest scored the first 10 runs Saturday, putting themselves on the verge of a sweep in the best of three series.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride,” Southwest coach Sandra Hernandez said. “We’ll play pretty well, but then we’ll have one bad inning. Our defense has been on. We just need to stay up on top of (our opportunities).”

Junior pitcher Kamerie Vidales, who helped the Dragons overcome a 4-0 deficit to Brandeis (20-8) after the first inning in Game 1, smacked a three-run home run over the left-field fence in the first inning.

Amanda Sanchez was struck by a pitch leading off the game and Krystal Salinas received a base on balls ahead of Vidales’ seventh home run this season.

Southwest produced a seven-run outburst in the third inning.

Freshman Caitlin Terrazas and junior Kayla Arguello got it rolling with a single down the left-field line and a double over the center fielder’s head, respectively, as the first two batters to the plate. A walk to junior Elizabeth Phillips loaded the bases and Sanchez forced in a run with the second of her three bases on balls.

Ahead 5-0, power-hitting Miranda Medina also walked to force in a run. Vidales ran her RBI total on the evening to five with a two-run base hit.

Terrazas then delivered her second hit of the inning, driving in a run with a two-out single. The Dragons tallied their 10th run as a result of a Broncos throwing error.

Brandeis, whose three pitchers combined to issue 10 walks, got three runs back in the bottom of the third, two on one play. Vidales, who retired the first six batters in order, suddenly had control problems. She walked Cameron Barnes with the bases loaded to make it 10-1. A throwing error on an RBI ground out gave the Broncos their last two runs of the evening.

In Friday’s game, Southwest cut the Broncos’ lead in half in the second inning. A four-run rally in the fifth assured the Dragons’ win. Southwest added two insurance runs in the sixth.

Vidales held Brandeis scoreless over the last six innings Friday.

“She really stepped up,” Hernandez said. “That’s what experience does for her. She’s a junior that’s been starting for us since Day 1. She really has a lot of experience.”

Southwest cut the Broncos’ lead in half in the second inning on a two-run double from catcher Gabby Flores, following a double by Arguello.

A four-run rally in the fifth assured the Dragons’ win. Samantha Hernandez sparked the rally with a single and Medina followed with a double. Southwest added two insurance runs in the sixth when Gonzales walked and Hernandez and Sanchez came through with base hits.

If necessary, because of a Brandeis comeback victory, a third game of the series was to follow the completion of the suspended game Monday.

Holy Cross

The Knights erupted for 11 runs in the first two innings of the area-round game. Holy Cross.scored six runs in the first inning and added five in the second against Houston Northland Christian.

The Knights lost a tuneup game 4-1 to Harper Thursday at Holy Cross. But they won big when it counted.

Holy Cross will play Monday against Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian in a 4 p.m. game at Texas A&M in the regional round.

Harlandale

Tuloso-Midway pitcher Destiny Rodriguez permitted the Indians (14-11) just two hits in the bi-district game at the Northeast ISD Complex.

Harlandale senior Stephanie Lopez allowed just six hits in her final game. The Warriors (22-8) scored single runs in the first and third innings.

Baseball

Harlandale

Agis allowed just three hits in helping the Indians (13-12, 9-5) move ahead of Uvalde (12-11-1, 8-6) in the standings.

The senior right-hander allowed just three hits in pitching Harlandale to victory. Agis (9-1) walked just one and struck out 14, running his season total to 126.

Richard Acosta and Brandon Ramon each contributed two of the Indians’ six hits. Harlandale scored single runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

Harlandale will play Victoria East (19-10-1) in a 7 p.m. game Friday in the bi-district round at Victoria’s Riverside Stadium.

Kennedy

The young Rockets (10-15, 5-9) finished won two games last week, defeating rival Memorial (2-23, 2-12) 11-1 Thursday at Edgewood Field and picked up a crucial 5-3 win at Floresville (9-18-1, 4-10) Saturday.

That victory broke a tie for fifth place in District 29-4A.

Kennedy took control in the fifth inning, breaking a 1-1 tie with four runs. Ahead 5-1, the Rockets withstood a two-run rally by Floresville in the sixth. Junior Isaiah Garcia was the winning pitcher, scattering nine hits.

BASEBALL: Cowboys attend to business at hand with 8-2 win over Southside

Harlandale, Kennedy also score big wins on 29-4A final day

By Mike Considine

FOR A FULL STORY ON SOUTHSIDE VS. McCOLLUM baseball (April 27, 2013 @ Frank Tejeda Complex), click here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/McCollum-boys-reach-playoffs-with-victory-over-4473139.php

McCollum fully understood that the stakes have been raised Saturday at the Frank Tejeda Complex.

The Cowboys (22-4, 11-3) made the playoffs last week, locked up second place in District 29-5A with a win over rival Harlandale Thursday and even had the bi-district dates and times set before they took the field against Southside (7-20, 3-11). Although the program is headed for its first postseason in several years, McCollum knew it was no time to relax.

In fact, the Cowboys played well in all facets of the game while defeating the Cardinals 8-2 – just as any veteran postseason-bound team hopes to do in its final district game.

“Our kids are excited the season’s not over,” Garza said. “They wanted to keep the momentum, going into the playoffs. That was the key.”

McCollum finished ahead of Harlandale in the district standings. The Indians won 2-0 at Uvalde as senior Michael Agis pitched a three-hitter. The win put Harlandale in third ahead of the Coyotes. Kennedy also broke a tie Saturday, winning 5-3 at Floresville to take sole custody of fifth place.

Southside finished seventh. Its season ended with the loss. Cardinals coach Fernando Garcia indicated that the 2014 season will unofficially begin Monday, as team begins its offseason training regimen.

Along with Kennedy, Southside was one of the youngest teams in the district this season. Next year, the junior-heavy Cardinals hope to make the same type of performance jump that McCollum made from last year to this year.

“Hopefully, they’ll come back with a focus,” he said. “We’ll re-evaluate things and see how we can do things differently that didn’t go our way.

“It’ll start with our approach on Monday. We’ll try to keep respecting the game,.leave everything on the field and play hard all seven innings. If they buy into that (philosophy), we’ll do well.”

McCollum will play host to Gregory-Portland (21-7-1) in a three-game bi-district series. The first game is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Game 2 will take place at noon next Saturday at G-P, with the third game to follow it, if necessary.

“It’s been three years since my freshman year,” said Cowboys senior Jonathan Arevalo, who effectively put the game out of reach with a fifth-inning, two-run double. “We’ve been working for it. We want to make this year memorable.

“Since freshman year, we thought we could make (the playoffs), but never made it. Other teams would beat us badly. But now it’s a different situation. Now it’s us winning those games.

“We’re very ready for this.”

Arevalo’s sophomore brother, Hector, pitched six shutout innings while the Cowboys built their lead. Although Southside scored twice in the final inning, the younger Arevalo pitched out of the jam.

“I was just relaxed,” Hector said. “I tried to control myself and throw strikes. We really wanted to win this game. We’re going into the playoffs, so we didn’t want to let up. I wanted to keep the team up.”

McCollum scored twice in the first inning as Ryan Villalobos hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. An RBI single from Hector Arevalo made it 3-0 after two innings.

Jesse Medina had a sacrifice fly in the fifth ahead of Jonathan Arevalo’s two-run double that gave the Cowboys a 6-0 cushion. Rafael Ramirez produced another run with a single to right field.

McCollum’s final run came courtesy of a double from Medina.

Southside had seven hits, but didn’t break through on the scoreboard until its last at-bat. Gabe Botello’s slicing drive up the middle took a dive at just the right time to skip all the way to the fence. Botello rounded the bases for a rare inside-the-park home run.

It was Botello’s second home run of the season.

“Southside played well,” Garza said. “We didn’t hit the ball as well as we wanted to, but our pitchers threw strikes and we played good defense. In three of the four games we lost, we didn’t throw strikes.”

 

SOUTH SIDE BASEBALL PLAYOFF PICTURE (updated April 27, 2013)

Baseball playoff picture

These are the local teams that have qualified for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):

QUALIFIERS: Burbank (12-14, 9-3), Central Catholic (22-8-1), Edison (14-12, 7-5), Harlandale (13-12, 8-5), Highlands (8-17, 5-7), McCollum (22-4, 10-3), South San (16-13-1, 5-5).