EDINBURG — With the University Interscholastic League’s suspension of all competition due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic set to begin Monday, six baseball teams played their final game of the foreseeable future Saturday morning.
The final day of the inaugural ECISD Louie Alamia Baseball Tournament ran as scheduled across Edinburg, with both the Edinburg High Bobcats and Edinburg North Cougars in action, as well as a matchup between McAllen Rowe and Mission Veterans.
At Edinburg North, the Cougars played host to the McAllen Memorial Mustangs in a matchup of 6A squads.
Non-district and tournament play had been a bumpy road for both the Cougars and Mustangs, but they had no problems getting off to hot starts Saturday.
The Mustangs scored twice during the top of the first as Ronnie Zamora and Daniel Arevalo came through with RBIs. The Cougars wasted no time in answering back as North jumped ahead after a four-run bottom half inning sparked by Jacob Alvarado’s two-run triple which bounced off the right field fence.
But the Mustangs and first-year head coach Felipe Barrera did something they’ve struggled with so far this season — finishing games. Memorial proceeded to score four runs during the second and fourth innings on its way to a 10-6 win over the Cougars.
“It’s been a growing process, and like I told them they have to trust the process,” Barrera said. “This program hasn’t won a lot, but we’re making great strides. We’ve played a lot of good teams tough, but we haven’t been able to finish games, and today, just this weekend, we’re starting to grow up a little bit and starting to make plays.”
Memorial’s Louie Garcia, Chris Cantu and Anthony Campos each finished with two RBIs, while Arevalo got the win on the mound for the Mustangs. Edinburg North’s Jacob Alvarado recorded three RBIs, while Carlos Acosta drove in another for the Cougars.
At Edinburg High, the Bobcats welcomed the McAllen High Bulldogs for a matchup between Edinburg and McAllen’s original high schools, but the purple and gold got the better of the red and blue in a 5-3 decision.
McHi’s Aaron Nixon led the Bulldogs with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with one home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Hector Garcia blasted his second homer of the year on 2-for-4 hitting with two RBIs. Chris Bernal started on the mound for McHi and pitched six innings allowing seven hits and three earned runs while striking out five.
At Edinburg Vela, the Mission Veterans Patriots topped the McAllen Rowe Warriors in a 12-10 shootout.
Eight different Patriots posted RBis as Adrian Garcia, Eddie Rivera and Jose Cerda led Mission Veterans with two each.
Meanwhile for the Warriors, Lorenzo Lopez, Yahir Garcia and Ramiro Campos finished with two RBIs. The Patriots and Warriors combined for 27 hits on Saturday.
With the ECISD Louie Alamia Baseball Tournament in the books and play suspended for two weeks until March 29, baseball teams will miss out on four scheduled district games. The two week suspension will leave high school teams five weeks to determine a district champion and playoff teams with an adjusted schedule.
“They’re going to let us practice and stuff, but we have to make sure to tell our kids to stay away from public places and try to keep everybody safe because we don’t want anybody contaminated coming up to the school and getting everybody contaminated,” Barrera said. “We’re trying to tell them to try to stay away from public places, South Padre Island, those big parties. We’ll stay together as a team, try to keep it close-knit so nobody will get that illness and hopefully we can get back on the playing field.”
May 5 marks the district certification deadline, according to the UIL, with the bi-district deadline set for May 9.
The UIL baseball state tournament is scheduled for June 10 through 13.
RGVSports.com will have updates on all things UIL and high school sports as information becomes available.