The Pleasanton Eagles were handed their first loss in District 29-4A.
Pleasanton (21-7, 4-1) fell to Hondo (13-12-1, 4-1) 6-4 during a rainy night in Hondo on Tuesday, April 27. The Eagles topped the Owls 1-0 in their first meeting on April 13.
Pleasanton left the tying run on second base to end the game.
A win would’ve given the Eagles the outright district title. The Eagles can still clinch the outright title with a win on Friday and a Hondo loss to fourth-place Somerset on the same day.
“I just told the kids we need to learn [from the loss],” Head Coach Lance Standley said. “We say it’s a crucial game, but it wasn’t a crucial game. We still have a bunch of sophomores and freshmen on the field in that type of game.”
A packed house at Bridges Field was on hand for the game. Hondo even brought out their drumline. Standley saw the hostile atmosphere as beneficial to the growth of the team with playoffs looming.
“We needed that,” Standley added. “We did a few little things and the kids realized those little things hurt us a bit. This was a growing game for us. We’ve still got a chance. If we win [Friday], we’re district champs with [Hondo].”
Should both teams win on Friday, the two will likely play a seeding game to determine who will be the one-seed from 29-4A.
Pleasanton just had unfortunate bounces in the game. Eight Eagles were left stranded on base and Pleasanton was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
“I’ve gotta figure out the big hit situation. I was a little concerned about that,” Standley said. “We didn’t get the big hit and our guys are usually pretty clutch. Did you see three of the hits with like six of the kids on? They were line-drive shots right at them. So, those three right there could’ve fallen in a gap and it wouldn’t have been eight [left on base].”
Each the fifth, sixth and seventh innings saw the Eagles leave men on base after sharply hit balls were fielded by the Owls for a groundout or a line out.
“Baseball’s a tricky sport. Sometimes they fall and sometimes they don’t,” senior shortstop Cole Wiechring said. “The way the balls fell for us today, it just didn’t happen for us.”
Sean Ramos and Auston Gillespie led the way with an RBI each for the Eagles. Ramos was 1-for-3 at the plate.
Tanner Hollis was on the hook for the Eagles. The right-handed hurler went four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts.
Roman Cuevas and Jayce Krauskopf each threw an inning of relief. Cuevas was perfect in his inning and Krauskopf allowed just one run in the sixth inning to give Pleasanton a chance to come back.
“That’s what we’re trying to do,” Standley said. “Tanner’s a great pitcher and we pitched him. … We’re here to have everybody pitch, get better and do their job, all pitchers, and they all did fabulous today. Coach [Bruce] Schorsch is doing a great job with them.”
Pleasanton entered the fifth inning trailing 5-1 before a wild pitch scored Robert Gonzales and an RBI groundout by Gillespie brought Diego Luna around to make it a two-run game.
The Eagles will close out the regular season at Devine on Friday at 7 p.m