Enriquez blast gives Pearland 3-2 win over Dawson

Oilers down No. 1 George Ranch

PEARLAND — Aeneas Enriquez was the man of the hour against the Dawson Eagles as the senior was 2-for-3 at the plate and was responsible for all three Pearland runs in the 3-2 district win.

Pearland scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first when Parker DeLeon was hit by a pitch with one out to reach first base.

DeLeon advanced to second on a wild pitch by Dawson starter Brett Jackson and moved to third on a ground out to second by Andrew Flores. That set up Enriquez who stroked a shot to left field to plate DeLeon for a 1-0 Pearland lead.

Dawson tied up the game in the top of the third when Jared Kirk worked Pearland starter Colby Casey for a walk. Kirk moved to second on a sacrifice by Jaeden Compton and Kaden Ingram hit a line drive to centerfield to move Kirk to third.

Pearland committed an error sending Kirk across the plate and moving Ingram to second. Casey got the next Dawson hitter on strikes, but the Oilers committed another error on a grounder by Adam Houghtaling that sent Ingram across the pay station giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead.

However, the lead was short-lived as Pearland scored two runs in the bottom of the third for a 3-2 lead that stood as the final score.

The Oilers opened up the frame with a ground out and then DeLeon lined a single to left. Andrew Flores hit into a fielder's choice to the third baseman who threw to second to get DeLeon out. That brought up Enriquez who took an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run shot giving the Oilers the 3-2 lead and ultimately the important league win.

Casey was the winning pitcher for Pearland as he allowed only two hits, two runs, striking out six with two walks.

Jackson was the losing pitcher after allowing three runs on three hits with two walks and no strikeouts in three innings of work. Houghtaling pitched two innings in relief allowing no runs, no hits, and striking out four.

Pearland 8 - George Ranch 3

For most of the season, the George Ranch Longhorns have been the No. 1 state-ranked 6A team and in the same district with the Pearland Oilers.

But has been the case in previous years, Pearland head coach Anthony Scalise has seen his team begin to pick up the need momentum as the playoffs approached and he has seen that happen this season even though the Oilers are a very young team.

"That's something that we've been pretty good at the last few years – getting hot late," Scalise said. "This puts us in good position to potentially be co-district champions with them, so it's a huge win for our kids.

"We're a really, really young team this year, we've had a bunch of ups and downs, some bumps in the road, but our kids have grown up tremendously in the second half of district."

Pearland (17-11, 9-2) has won seven straight since losing 11-4 to George Ranch on March 28.

The Oilers scored two runs in the third and one run in the fourth for a 3-0 lead.

George Ranch tied up the game 3-3 with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one run in the fifth.

But then the Longhorns fell apart defensively, with four errors in the top of the sixth when Pearland scored five runs for an 8-3 lead.

Pearland sent 11 men to the plate and scored five runs with only one RBI on Jacob Whitehead's single.

Pearland finished with seven hits.

Mason Lytle went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Parker DeLeon, Aeneas Enriquez and John Thomas each had an RBI. Whitehead was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI.

Matt Adams went 4 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and three runs allowed, before exiting with a no-decision.

Enriquez picked up the win in relief.