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Hornets fall to state-ranked Tigers
Ruben Pena Jr. straddles the bag and looks for a throw during the Hornets’ district-opening loss to Corpus Christi Carroll.
EAST CENTRAL -- It’s been a good season for the East Central baseball team so far, though the Hornets did hit a wall last Friday in the form of the state-ranked Corpus Christi Carroll Tigers.
The Hornets wrapped up their non-district schedule last Tuesday, as they took on Central Catholic and secured a 6-5 victory.
The Buttons got on the board first in the top of the first inning thanks to a walk and error. Fernando Luna retired the side with a strikeout, though, and the Hornets went to the plate.
East Central couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the first, but made up ground in the bottom of the third, as Russell Brown got things started by beating out an infield single. Luna then grounded out, but Brown moved around to third. Aaron Jaramillo then ripped a double to right field and Brown easily scored to tie the game at 1-1. Carlos Gallegos Jr. hit a single to center field to get on base, and drove Jaramillo in for a 2-1 lead. Joseph Gutierrez hit a single to right field and Justin Upshaw-Mendoza drew a walk, but the Hornets were unable to add to the lead before the side was retired.
The 2-1 score remained in place until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Hornets got rolling again. Gutierrez drew a walk to get on base, and Upshaw-Mendoza followed suit, putting runners at first and second. Chris Trevino came to the plate and safely reached base on an infield error, and the Hornets had the bases loaded. Gutierrez later scored when Brown drew a walk, and then Upshaw-Mendoza, Trevino, and Brown all scored as Luna hit a line-drive double into center field. The Buttons retired the side shortly thereafter, but the Hornets held a 6-1 advantage.
Central Catholic went on to add 1 run in the top of the sixth, and 3 runs in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t tie the game to send things into extra innings, and East Central celebrated a 6-5 win, and a 10-3-2 overall record.
The Hornets then played host to the state-ranked Tigers from Corpus Christi Carroll High School. The Hornets were looking for an upset, but it wasn’t quite meant to be.
The Tigers scored 1 run in the first, 2 runs in the second inning, and 1 run in the third, but it was the team’s 9 runs in the fifth that put things out of reach for East Central. The Hornets took their cuts at the plate and put a number of runners on base, but were unable to bring anyone across home plate.
Brown, Luna, Jaramillo, and Upshaw-Mendoza each hit singles in the game, and Trevino drew a walk. Luna was able to steal a base, too.
The Hornets put three pitchers on the hill, with Upshaw-Mendoza pitching most of the game. He tallied two strikeouts, but gave up three walks, nine hits, and 4 earned runs. Ruben Pena Jr. gave up a walk, three hits, and 3 earned runs, and Kassidy Ramon earned one strikeout, but gave up two walks, one hit, and 1 earned run.
The Hornets were scheduled to play at Southwest on March 25, and will be back at home this Friday, March 28, to take on the Steele Knights. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m.
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