Pearland drops final game of regular season

PEARLAND — It is time for the real baseball season to begin, but most teams like to have some momentum entering the playoffs.

The Pearland Oilers finished the District 22-6A race in second place behind league champion Alvin.

The Oilers were ranked as the No. 1 Class 6A team in the state for most of the season, but Pearland has dropped three of their final five games of the year including a 4-3 loss to Manvel this past Friday night.

Pearland also lost two consecutive league games to Dawson and Alvin leaving them with three losses in district action.

Alvin, Pearland, Dawson, and Dobie will begin the real season this week as the post-season begins.

Pearland head coach Anthony Scalise needs for his diamondmen to get focused and step up in urgent mode or the season will quickly come to an end.

The Oilers didn't win the district title last year as they fell to Dobie twice, but they still managed to step up and win the Class 5A Region III title that sent them to the 5A state baseball tournament in Round Rock.

The ultimate goal is to win the regional championship and get back to challenge for a state championship.

The Oilers proved last year that it isn't necessary to have a district title on your resume. But they must defend their regional championship of they want to return to Round Rock.

Pearland has proven they have quality pitching and a potent offense, but both have been suspect the past five games after breezing through the first round of district undefeated at 8-0. They closed with a 5-3 mark so the momentum hasn't been on their side. Now the real test is just over the horizon.

Manvel took on Pearland with nothing to lose. The Mavericks were out of playoff contention so facing the Oilers in the regular season finale was to go out a winner and hand the Oilers another loss.

Pearland got on the scoreboard in the top of the first as Ryan Diaz, who led off with a walk, scored without the benefit of a hit for a 1-0 lead.

But Manvel answered in their half of the inning to make it 1-1.

Pearland put two runners on base via a walk in the second inning, but a line out to left and a double play left the score tied at 1-1.

The Oilers allowed the Mavs to score in the second for a 2-1 lead.

But Pearland answered with a pair of runs in the top of the third for a 3-2 advantage.

Diaz laced a one-out single to centerfield, Caleb Maly singled moving Diaz to third and Jacob Almendarez singled to score Diaz. Cody Williams hit a clutch single to score Maly for the one run lead.

The Oilers were unable to add another run leaving two runners in scoring position.

That's when Manvel pitcher Kyle Rogers stepped up his game and retired the next 12 Pearland hitters in a row. The Oilers were unable to mount up any scoring threat for the rest of the game.

Manvel loaded up the bases in the fourth on a couple of walks by Kyle Carson plus a fielding error. Carson walked in the tying run making the score 3-3.

Carson did pick off a runner at first and struck out another, but when he gave up a single, Scalise opted to bring in senior pitcher Stephen McBroom who struck out the next hitter to retire the side.

However, after Pearland went three-up, three-down in the fourth, McBroom got through a shaky fourth with two walks but managed to keep the game tied thanks to catcher Brendan Owens throwing out a Manvel runner at second.

But McBroom couldn't contain the Mavs in the bottom of the fifth as McBroom lost his control by walking three to load the bases with one out. His third walk brought in the eventual winning run to give Manvel a 4-3 lead.

Scalise took out McBroom in favor of Brady Basso who struck out the next two batters to get Pearland out of trouble.

But the Oilers were unable to muster any offense over the next two frames and Manvel held on for a season-ending victory.

McBroom was tagged with the loss for the Oilers as he gave up one run, walked five, and struck out one after only 1 2/3 innings of work on the hill.

Rogers had the Oilers under control for Manvel as he allowed three runs over seven innings. Rogers struck out three, walked three and gave up four hits.

Pearland will open up the Class 6A Region III playoffs against North Shore at North Shore High School at 7:00 p.m. in a one-game playoff game.