By: JOHN CANNON
(PHARR) — Just like the first time they faced each other, Edcouch-Elsa and PSJA High were involved in another instant classic.
In the bottom of the seventh and trailing by two, the Bears were in desperation mode and needed a huge spark to get back them into the game.
PSJA High was able to find that spark as they loaded the bases with two outs.
A wild pitch by Jackets starting pitcher Jacob Martinez scored Trey Guajardo which cut the lead to 4-3 and made things very interesting.
With the bases still loaded, Marc Castillo came up to the plate and was looking to be the hero of the game. Castillo nailed a shot to left center field and hoped that the ball would fall in and lead his Bears to a victory.
However, E-E’s Gabe Rosalez tracked down the ball and made a spectacular catch to record the third out and preserve the Jackets victory 4-3.
Edcouch-Elsa head baseball coach Xavy Acosta was very proud of the way that his team and his starting pitcher Martinez kept their composure late in the game.
“These kids never lost their composure through everything that happened in the final inning and I am just so proud of that,” said Acosta. “Also, I have to tip my hat to Jacob for not getting frustrated after PSJA High tried to battle back.”
“The true Jackets showed up today and we played a great overall game. This was a big win for us and the kids truly earned it.”
The Jackets took the first lead of the game 2-0 in the top of the second as both Jarren Garcia and AJ Rodriguez scored on sacrifice RBI’s.
E-E added two more runs to their lead in the top of the fourth thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Joey Villalpando which scored AJ Rodriguez and also Gabe Rosalez crossing home plate on a bases loaded walk.
Edcouch-Elsa had a chance to open up the floodgates in the fourth as they had bases loaded and two outs.
But Cheke Marroquin came in on relief for PSJA starting pitcher Castillo and struck out Jackets shortstop Joseph Gonzalez to eliminate any more runs coming in.
The Bears made it a ballgame in the bottom of the fourth as Josh Saldana’s double to center scored two runs which trimmed the lead in half.
PSJA High had their chances to score some runs throughout the entire contest as they stranded seven runners on base.
However, Martinez did his job on the mound and didn’t allow those runs to come across the plate.
Martinez ended up going the distance for the Jackets and held the Bears offense to two runs on five hits and struck out five.
“Just like in the first game, Jacob did his job for his team tonight,” said PSJA High head baseball coach Marco Guajardo. “He was on tonight and led his team to a huge win.”
With the win, Edcouch-Elsa now improves to 5-3 and sits a complete game behind PSJA High and Donna North for the top spot.
“We are back in the race,” said Acosta.