Roma stuns MV in area
By Heath Clary
Special to the Anvil Herald
Laredo -- After last season’s spectacular playoff run
to the regional semifinals, the Medina Valley baseball team came
into 2015 with state tournament aspirations.
All it took was an unlucky coin flip, an opportunistic
opponent, and one bad inning to derail those hopes.
The Panthers lost a one game playoff to Roma in the second
round of playoffs last Thursday, May 14, as their comeback bid
came up just short by a 6-4 final score.
Medina Valley, with a pitching staff that seemingly has no end,
wanted a best-of-three series, but Roma, with not as talented of a
team and with only one solid pitcher, would not agree. A coin flip
ensued, and the Panthers lost it, so a one game playoff was
scheduled in Laredo at Veterans’ Field.
After two innings, it didn’t look like the number of games
was going to matter. Heath Clary and Ken Gallegos each hit RBI
singles in the first two innings to give starter Cody Moos an
early 2-0 lead.
For seven batters, Moos (8-2) showed why he earned a
scholarship to Division-1 Baylor University. He struck out the
first seven with ease, but then he ran into some trouble.
He walked the number-eight hitter and then gave up his first
hit of the game, a double that landed just inside the right field
line. That put runners on second and third with one out, and then
Moos induced a weak pop fly to first base for the second out.
After a walk loaded the bases, Moos made his first major
mistake of the game. He left a fastball over the plate, and the
Roma hitter crushed it over the left field wall for a grand slam.
It was the first and only home run that Moos allowed his entire
high school career, but it was a dagger, nonetheless.
A stunned Panther squad could not immediately answer, and the
Gladiators manufactured two more in the fourth.
The leadoff hitter in the inning struck out, but the next two
worked walks. Then Moos surrendered a bloop, run-scoring, single
to right that landed just in front of Walker Petty. The next
batter hit a sacrifice fly to left field that was just deep enough
to score the runner from third, despite a strong throw by
Bradley Griggs relieved Moos after another walk, and held down
the fort in tremendous fashion. Griggs, a UTSA signee, did not
allow a base runner in 2.1 innings of work, striking out five.
After Griggs struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth,
the Panthers came to bat facing a four-run deficit with their
season on the line. They hadn’t done much offensively since the
third inning—when they loaded the bases and failed to score—but
they turned it on in the seventh.
Kyle Moos led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch—the third
time he reached base in the game—and then Zack Griggs ripped a
single to center field. With Clary at the plate, the Roma pitcher
threw three consecutive pitches past the catcher, allowing Moos
and Griggs to both come around and score to cut the deficit in
With the score now 6-4, Clary walked. Pinch runner Cody Burris
advanced to third with two outs, but the Panthers could not score
the two more runs they needed and when Sergio Esqueda took a
filthy curveball for strike three, the season was over for the
Orange and Black.
The Panthers finish the season with a 23-6 record and
bi-district champs. They will lose five seniors to graduation—Cody
Moos, Bradley Griggs, Ken Gallegos, Heath Clary, and Mason Foster—but
they also have several varsity contributors coming back next year
and should once again be a force in District 29-5A, with a chance
to go deep into the playoffs.