There was something for both rivals Friday at EHS, as the Bobcats showed their customary resiliency in gaining win No. 20 for the year, and the Jags played very competitive baseball until the One Bad Inning did them in.
EHS (9-2 in league play with three to play) stayed in the running for a league title and clinched second, breaking away from a pesky Econ bunch with six runs in the fourth en route to a 12-2 win.
The Jags, who are depleted somewhat in numbers right now, battled hard and were close to getting off the ziggy though they came in a big underdog. Coach Matt Benavidez’ group got runners on consistently against struggling junior Sammy Alvarado, but could not plate more than two (in the first). The Jags left 10 runners on base through four and Alvarado gutted up to shut them down when it counted, fanning eight and leaving the bases loaded twice.
Shortstop Andrew Arteaga, mired in a 2-for-17 slump, busted out with three hits from the No. 6 hole, while leadoff man Joe Munoz was productive with a pair of sacrifice bunts and a stolen base. Edgar Cordon and Nick Escobar had two hits apiece as the ‘Cats moved closer to the playoffs.
Coach Robert Valdez told his kids they did a good job keeping their composure Friday, and that they need to continue toward their goal of being the last team standing in the postseason. The ‘Cats face league leader P-SJ-A (11-0) Tuesday on the road.
Benavidez, in his first year at the helm of the Jags, planned to give the Bobcats all they could handle, and behind curveballer Robert Galvan, did so until the fourth. Catcher Ray Miranda and third baseman Eric Alonzo drew bases-full walks in the first to give the Orange a 2-0 lead, and it was 3-2, EHS through three and a half.
“We’re not winning ball games but the scores are getting closer,” Benavidez said. “We’ve done a good job on the JV this season and a lot of those young kids will be with us next year. The good Lord puts everyone somewhere for a reason, and we have to keep working on our game so we can come back next year and be better.”
Galvan knocked two hits and scored a run for the Jags.
In other action, North suffered yet another 1-run loss, dropping a close one to Harlingen, 1-0.