Update for April 17, 2014
PHOTO / CHARLES CARLSON
Freshman Zach DeLeon is hoisted by his Owl teammates after drilling a full-count pitch in the seventh inning for the game-winning single in 13-12 thriller over Pearsall at Bridges Field.
Hondo erases 8-run deficit, wins it in 7th
By Jeff Berger
The Hondo baseball team fell into a huge hole Friday, April 11, at Bridges Field.
But without falling into the huge hole, they never could have made the team’s biggest comeback in recent history.
Pearsall jumped on the Owls for five runs on no hits in the first inning, then added another three in the top of the second to own a seemingly comfortable eight-run lead.
That was before Hondo responded with seven in the bottom of the second, and craziness ensued, finally ending with a walk-off single from Hondo freshman Zach DeLeon to finish off a 13-12 win.
Pearsall got five runs in the first, off of three walks, three errors and a hit batter.
The Mavericks added three more in the second, with a dropped third strike, an RBI single and another hit batter.
Rees Saathoff came on in relief of starter AJ Garcia and was greeted by a two-run double, but he got the next two batters to end the inning.
After going down in order in the first, Hondo jumped right into the fray in the bottom of the second. Pearsall starter Adrian Leal began to have control issues, walking four batters, with an error added in. Ryan Frosch then ripped a two-run double down the left field line, and Brian Dominguez drove in another run with a double to left center. Garcia singled up the middle to drive in two more, and the Owls had cut the lead to 8-7.
Hondo took the lead in the bottom of the third with three runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Pearsall’s center fielder dropped Dominguez’s fly ball, and everyone advanced. Garcia singled in another run, and Dalton Graff drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 10-8.
Pearsall got an unearned run in the fourth, when the base umpire ruled that Pearsall’s Ricky Medrano reached first base before Graff got there. After Hondo coach Cody Fields’ protest went to no avail, Medrano came around to score without a Pearsall hit, cutting the Owls’ lead to 10-9.
Hondo stretched its lead back to three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Dominguez drilled a two-run triple to left center, scoring Wesley Rogge and Frosch, but Dominguez was ruled out at third after his pop-up slide. Again, Coach Fields’ protest went for naught, and the lead remained 12-9.
The Mavericks began to get to Saathoff in the top of the fifth with a leadoff double from Leal. Three walks and a hit batter led to a three-run inning, and Coach Fields went to a rarely-used strategy: bringing his starting pitcher, Garcia, back to the mound. The senior righthander recorded the third out on a pop fly to left.
Hondo went down in order in the fifth, and catcher Zach DeLeon got a big out, when he caught Leal trying to steal third. The Mavericks ended the inning with another runner stranded at third.
Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, Dominguez beat out an infield grounder for a single and Garcia’s sacrifice bunt moved him over. A passed ball put Dominguez at third, before Pearsall made the decision to intentionally walk the next two batters, loading the bases for DeLeon with one out.
With the infield drawn in on the grass, DeLeon ripped a full-count pitch off the leg of pitcher Josh Luna and into centerfield, driving home Dominguez with the winning run.
The Owls finished with a 10-hit attack. Dominguez was 3-of-4 with four RBI and Garcia, who ran his pitching record to 4-3 with a win in relief, was 2-of-4 at the plate, driving in three.
Big 7th inning leads to another Hondo victory
Lytle -- The winning formula may be a little precarious, but it has worked twice in a row for the Hondo Owls.
Again on Tuesday, April 15, the Owls committed a slew of errors in the first inning and found themselves facing a deficit.
This time, the Owls took the entire game to catch up, taking their first lead in the top of the seventh inning. But the six runs the Owls put up were enough to end any hopes of a Lytle comeback. Hondo won the District 29-AAA contest, 10-5, to lock up no worse than the third place playoff spot from the league. The Owls are also now 12-11, climbing above .500 for the first time this season, with one regular season game left, at home against Devine on Tuesday. April 22, starting at 7 p.m.
The Owls found themselves trailing 4-0 after one inning, and it stayed at that score through the third inning.
Hondo scored three times in the top of the fourth inning, forcing a Lytle pitching change.
The Pirates scored in the bottom of the fifth and the Owls matched in the top of the sixth, although they left two stranded with an inning-ending double play.
In the top of the seventh, everything came together for Hondo. Down 5-4, Dalton Graff drew a leadoff walk after falling behind in the count, 0-2. Zach DeLeon and Rees Saathoff both walked to load the bases with no outs. Wesley Rogge singled up the middle, driving in two runs and giving the Owls their first lead. Willie Keilman singled home another run, and stole second, before a one-out intentional walk to Brian Dominguez. After Rogge was caught at the plate trying to score on a passed ball, AJ Garcia was walked to load the bases again. A pickoff attempt of Dominguez backfired, as all runners advanced, and Keilman scored. Hunter Eitze then doubled down the third base line to score two more.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Decker came on in relief of Graff (4-3) on the hill, retiring the side in four batters.
The Owls have clinched a playoff spot, either second or third in 29-AAA, depend on his the last week of the season plays out.
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