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A quick start in game one and a fourth inning offensive explosion in game two cemented Pearsall’s two-game sweep of the Devine Warhorses last Friday, May 7 for the bi-district championship to open the 2021 playoffs.
JM Perez tossed a gem in the opening contest, allowing six hits, striking out seven with one earned run in a 9-1 thrashing of the Warhorses to start the series. Pearsall won the second game 11-5 to complete the sweep.
“It’s been an up and down season for us, but we finally started to play as a team at the right time,” PHS Head Coach Ray Talamantes said. “We told the boys that they had what it took to compete but they just had to believe it themselves. I think they finally believed!
“Offensively, we were able to capitalize on some defensive miscues by the Warhorses,” Talamantes said. “Seniors Jesse Carrasco, Marcos Salazar, Mark Ovalle and juniors Izayah Ramirez and Joseph Telles all collected multiple hits.”
Pearsall jumped out to an 8-0 lead through the fourth inning. They opened with a pair of runs in the first. A pair of batters were hit by pitches to put them on base. A single scored one and an errant throw led to another score.
The Mavs loaded the bases in the second but could not capitalize but would load the bases once more in the third and this time tallied three runs. One run scored on another Devine error while Salazar singled to bring in a pair of runs.
Three more runs came in the fourth as Carrasco singled to reach first. He stole a pair of bases and scored on a throwing error. Ovalle then belted a two out double to score another run. Salazar then singled to score Ovalle as the lead went to 8-0 in the fourth. Kollin Meeks added a sacrifice fly to score the final run in the seventh.
Ovalle pitched the second outing and after a rough start, settled in to allow only a single run through the final five innings of the 11-5 win.
After a scoreless first inning, Devine had a double, triple and a pair of singles to open the second and grab a 4-0 lead. Salazar had a two RBI double to cut the margin to 4-2 at the bottom of the second. Pearsall managed only one run after loading the bases in the third to make it 4-3.
A walk and an error put two on for Pearsall in the fourth and a single loaded the bases for Carrasco. With a 2-1 count, the senior belted a grand-slam homerun over the left centerfield wall to put the Mavericks ahead for go at 7-4.
Pearsall would cap the 11-5 victory on a run down play for the third and final out as junior Joseph Telles tagged out the Warhorse runner down the third base line.
The win marks Pearsall first time entering the second round of the playoffs since 2010 and first playoff win since the 2004 season. The Mavericks earned a first round bye in 2010 and defeated Mathis 12-6 at bi-district in ’04.
“We are extremely proud of our boys but we also know that it is not over yet,” the coach said. “We have a very tough task ahead of us as we will face the Calallen Wildcats in the Area round this coming week.”
Pearsall will take on Calallen, 25-3-1, 10-0 in 31-4A, in a one-game area playoff this Friday, May 14 at Calallen High School at 7 p.m.