Bears still alive in playoffs; Hornets, Tigers, and Pirates fall
La Vernia’s Rudy Reynaga slides into home plate during the Bears’ bi-district series win over the Lytle Pirates last week.
By Robert C. McDonald
Wilson County News
Following the first round of baseball playoff competition, the La Vernia Bears remain the only area team still in contention. The East Central Hornets, Floresville Tigers, and Poth Pirates put up a fight during their bi-district matchups, but eventually fell to their opponents.
For La Vernia, the Bears’ path to the area championship ran through the Lytle Pirates. La Vernia topped Lytle 11-6 during the first game in a best-of-three series May 6, and then the Bears did it again on May 7 by shutting out the Pirates, 7-0.
In game one, La Vernia senior pitcher Troy Arnold started on the hill for the Bears and threw the first five innings. Fellow senior Ryan McBride then came on to close out the win. The victory was realized through a solid team effort, as the Bears made a number of good defensive plays, hit the ball well, and showed speed and intelligence on the base path.
Lytle scored first in the game with 2 runs in the top of the first inning, but La Vernia came back to score 2 runs in the second, 2 runs in the third, and one more in the fourth to lead 5-2. The Pirates got hot in the top of the fifth to score 4 runs and retake the lead at 6-5, but the Bears battled back in the bottom of the fifth with 4 runs of their own, reassuming the lead at 9-6. La Vernia went on to score 2 insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and celebrated the 11-6 triumph.
The Bears and Pirates took the field for game two on May 7, and McBride took the hill for La Vernia. The Bears looked good right out of the gate, and jumped on the Pirates early for 2 runs in the top of the first inning and 2 runs in the top of the second. With 1 additional run in the fourth and 2 in the fifth, the Bears had Lytle easily beaten by the score of 7-0. With the series win, the Bears now advance to the area championship, where they will face Boerne.
For the area’s other three baseball teams that made the playoffs, the results were not as good.
After a good season in District 28-5A, the East Central Hornets found themselves set to play a best-of-three series with Brandeis. Unfortunately for the Hornets, they fell two games to one.
Game one of the series was played on May 6, and it was Brandeis who captured the win by the score of 9-4. East Central scored 2 runs in the top of the first inning, but Brandeis came back with 4 of its own in the bottom of the first. The Hornets tried to play catch-up from there, but were unable to make the comeback.
Game two was played on May 7, and this time it was the Hornets who grabbed the victory. East Central scratched 1 run in the bottom of the third inning and 1 run in the bottom of the sixth, but they were more than enough for the win. Randy Campos was credited for the Hornet win, as East Central tied the series with a 2-0 win.
After the low-scoring affair, the bats came alive for both teams in the third and deciding game. Brandeis scored 6 runs in the top of the first inning, and East Central scored 3 in the bottom of the first. The Hornets then pulled to within 1 run in the bottom of the third as they added 2 runs to make it a 6-5 game. Each team added a run in the fourth, and Brandeis tacked on 3 more in fifth and 1 in the top of the sixth. East Central continued to fight and scored 3 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but eventually fell by the score of 11-9.
The story was quite similar for the Floresville Tigers, as they defeated Burbank in the first game of a three-game series, but then fell in games two and three to drop the series.
The Tigers looked sharp during game one in San Antonio, as they picked up a big 12-9 win. Floresville scored 1 run in the top of the first inning, and then added 6 more in the second. After scoring 1 run in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings, things looked to be over as Floresville led 10-0, but Burbank came back by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the fifth and 3 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it a 10-9 contest. Floresville added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh, and locked up the win.
Izaiah Guerrero earned the win on the mound for Floresville, while Silva picked up the save. Guerrero fanned 10 batters through 4-2/3 innings.
The series moved to Floresville for game two, but Burbank upset the Tiger home crowd by taking a 2-0 win. The Bulldogs scratched 1 run in the top of the third and another in the sixth. The Tigers registered five hits in the game, but couldn’t get anyone across home plate.
With the series tied at one game apiece, the teams settled into game three on May 7. The Bulldogs jumped on Floresville for 3 runs in the bottom of the first inning, and then added another 8 runs in the third for an 11-0 lead.
The Tigers got on the board in the top of the fourth with 1 run, but the Bulldogs came back with 2 more in the bottom of the inning to make it a 13-1 game. The Tigers were unable to score in the fifth inning, though, and the game was called short by virtue of the mercy rule. For the Tigers, it would mean an end to their season.
The Poth Pirate baseball team also earned a trip to the playoffs this year, but instead of playing a best-of-three series, entered into a single-game playoff with the Luling Eagles. In the end, Luling earned the win and trip to the area championship by defeating Poth 6-4.
The Pirates scored first in the contest by putting 1 run on the board in the top of the third, but the Eagles came back with 3 runs in the bottom of the third inning and 1 run in the bottom of the fourth. Trailing 4-1, the Pirates got hot in the top of the fifth inning and scored 3 runs to tie the game at 4-4.
The Pirate defense held Luling at bay during the bottom of the fifth, and the tie carried over into the sixth inning. The Eagles scored 2 runs in the bottom of the sixth, though, and left Poth with just one final at-bat for the season. The Pirates were unable to score the 2 runs they needed in the top of the seventh inning, and ended their 2011 campaign with a 6-4 loss to Luling.