Oilers fall to Longhorns in district showdown

PEARLAND — Pearland entered the game against the Dobie Longhorns as the No. 2 team in the state with a sparkling 28-2 mark and as the defending 22-5A champion. The two teams were tied for the district lead as Pearland lost to the 'Horns in the first round while Dobie dropped a game to Alvin leaving both teams with one loss entering the final game of the regular season. The winner would capture the District 22-5A title.

The Oilers scored first with a run in the top of the second and third innings for a 2-0 lead.

Jake Crain hit a one-out single but was forced out on a fielder's choice by Tyler Kimball. Pearland catcher Nathan Carter stepped up and drilled a single to left to send Kimball across the plate.

The second run for Pearland in the third came courtesy of shortstop Connor Wong who smashed a solo home run over the left centerfield wall for the 2-0 lead.

Dobie's Eric Garza and Travarus Ansley opened the fourth with back-to-back singles and both moved to second and third on the throw from the outfield on Ansley's hit.

Jacob Mendoza got a deep sacrifice fly to score Garza. With two outs, Tyler Baumann hit a clutch single to left sending Ansley home to knot up the game at 2-2.

The Oilers lost a chance to add some more runs in the fifth when they loaded the bases with two outs, but a grounder to the pitcher was caught and the throw to first retired the threat.

Dobie took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Michael Munoz and Garza both singled sending Pearland starter Andreus Faltesek to the bench in favor of Brady Basso.

Basso promptly hit the first Dobie batter to load the bases. However, Carter fired the ball to first base to pick off the runner for the second out. But an errant throw allowed both Dobie runners to score giving them a 4-2 lead.

The Oilers closed the gap in the sixth when Kamren Dukes brought home a run with an RBI single to cut the margin to 4-3.

Stephen McBroom stepped on the mound in relief to Basso and struck out the first two hitters, but that's when the Oilers lost focus again and Dobie added two more runs in the frame for a 6-3 lead.

With three outs left, Wong smashed a one-out double to right. Jacob Barfield and Hayden Cole both got hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Sophomore Jesse Paredes, who beat the Oilers in the first round, took over for Dobie starter Michael Munoz and he promptly got a strikeout. Kimball got a walk to bring home a run for Pearland making the score 6-4.

But the game came to an end when Carter grounded out to second giving the Longhorns their first district championship since 1997.

Pearland will face North Shore in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 will be at North Shore on Thursday, May at 7:30 p.m. The second game will be on Friday, May 2 at Pearland at 7:30 p.m. Game 3 (if needed) will be on Saturday, May 3 at North Shore at 2:00 p.m.