The time has come as your Eagle Pass Eagles are primed and ready to take on the Johnson Jaguars in the 2013 Region IV Semi Finals right here in the comfort of our very own EPISD Baseball Complex.
Both teams can be said to be killers of Giants as the Eagles knocked off perennial powerhouse, number two in the state and the number three team in the nation, UT-bound Eagle Pass connection Tres Barrera the Mission Sharyland Rattlers who came into the one game, winner-take-all series at a crisp 31-1 and the Jaguars knocked off the number one team in San Antonio, the Winston Churchill Chargers in two straight.
The scene is set as Reynol Mendoza and Gordon Gesell prepare their charges for battle tomorrow night in what is sure to be a great series.
"Our kids are excited and they've been practicing well," stated Mendoza, "We're looking forward to a good game and our team has stepped it up time and time again, especially in the playoffs."
When asked about common opponents, we know that the CC Winn Mavericks played Johnson 7-6 this year and the Jaguars also played O'Connor who United is playing this week.
"They're fundamentally sound, they have speed and they can hit," stated Gene Flores, Manager of the CC Winn Mavericks, "We saw four of their pitchers who have good control of their fastball, they throw a lot of curve balls and changes, but they like to steal and put pressure on the defense and to try to make things happen. I think it will be a good matchup."
"The closest team I can compare Johnson to is United," added Mendoza, "They hit and run, they bunt the ball and have good hitting and pitching."
The coach stated that United will be facing a pitcher who throws in the 90-95 MPH range in their series.
Both teams have faced and done well against formidable pitching as well so something's got to give and if we play our cards right, this team may be the next to accomplish what the 1970, 1974, 1988 and 1996 Eagle Pass Eagles all did, which was advance to the state tournament in Austin.
Whatever the case may be, the Eagles are in the Final Four of Region IV and are going to count on a legion of Eagle Pass fans from all over Maverick County to support them in their bid to continue advancing in the state tournament so wear your Burnt Orange and White proudly, be there, be early, but by all means BE LOUD!!!
By Rey Sifuentes Jr.
Eagle Pass High School’s varsity softball team had several players recently picked for the All-District 29-5A team.
Sandra Mendoza (junior, pitcher) was voted as the district’s Most Valuable Player.
Named to the first all-district team were Krystal De La Cruz (sophomore, pitcher), Samantha Fuentes (junior, first baseman), Jessica Garcia (senior, second baseman), Monica Flores (junior, outfielder), and Dariela Velasquez (sophomore, designated player).
Making the second all-district team were Keanna Pearson (senior, third baseman), and Krystal Perez (junior, outfielder).
Receiving Honorable Mention were Samantha De Leon (senior), Nina Flores (freshman), and Melanie Mendoza (freshman).
“All of these girls did a great job for us this season,” Head Coach Oscar Ruiz said on Tuesday.
The Lady Eagles compiled an overall record of 28 and 7 this past season, and won their fourth consecutive District 29-5A title with an 11-1 league record.
EPHS swept Edinburg-Vela in the bi-district round of the playoffs in two games, then ousted Brownsville Porter in two straight in the area round.
The Lady Eagles were then thrown a huge curve in what was supposed to be a best of three games Region IV playoff series against San Benito.
Both teams met in Laredo for game one on Friday (May 10) but that encounter was halted - with San Benito leading 2-0 - because of heavy rain.
The game’s chief umpire declared the score final later that night, while Ruiz disputed the decision.
Both teams were ordered to return to Laredo for game two the following day, but were told (upon arrival) that their three-game series had been reduced to one - requiring them to finish out the remaining one and a third inning left over from Friday’s contest. San Benito held on to win 2-0 and advanced.
EPISD brass filed an injunction again the University Interscholastic League midway through last week, but the complaint was dismissed by a court in Austin (Travis County) on Friday – and the Lady Eagles’ season officially ended there.
Nonetheless, the Lady Eagles are losing less than a handful of this past season’s roster – meaning they will again be a force to contend with in 2014.
“All of the experience that we should have coming back next year will be invaluable,” Ruiz said on Tuesday. “We have a great group of girls who are going to be ready to go next season.”
And with the annual all-district selection meeting usually being held at the campus of the 29-5A champ, Ruiz is more than happy to continue welcoming his conference opponents into town.
“We have hosted that meeting here in Eagle Pass for the past four years,” Ruiz said. “And I am looking forward to continue hosting it for the next few years.”
Sports Column by Rey Sifuentes Jr.
(The following column is the sole opinion of the writer.)
Okay. So here are two separate situations that (in my opinion) should have the same result.
Exhibit A, almost two weeks ago – Eagle Pass and San Benito High School’s softball teams meet for game one of their best of three region playoff series in Laredo.
Heavy weather – which no one can control – halts the game in the sixth inning with San Benito ahead 2-0.
The chief umpire later declares the score final – giving San Benito a 1-0 series lead – and instructs everyone to come back the following day.
Arriving for game two on Saturday, both teams find out that their best of three series is now only a one-game winner advances playoff, and that both teams need to finish out the remaining one and a third inning.
San Benito holds on for the win and moves on in the postseason.
EPISD players, coaches, family and administrators protest the surprise change in the playoff format (rightfully so in my opinion) and attorneys for the district later file an injunction against the University Interscholastic League.
The injunction gets dismissed by a court in Travis County (Austin) on Friday.
Long story short: Bye Bye Lady Eagles.
Stay with me here.
Exhibit B, last Friday – Eagle Pass and Mission Sharyland’s baseball teams meet for a region playoff in San Antonio.
This is in a one game winner take all contest.
Both teams slug it out, needing to play eight innings, and the Eagles edge the Rattlers (ranked number two in the state, third in some national polls) 10-9.
Sharyland, a few days ago, filed an incident report with UIL over how EPHS’s coaching staff selected the umpires for the game – according to a recent story in RGV Sports.com.
The Rattlers’ coaches (who lost the flips that decided the playoff format and its location) are arguing that they had an agreement with EPHS’s staff that they would first go through UIL, which would then pick four umpires from the San Antonio chapter.
EPHS’s staff, allegedly, instead went straight to the San Antonio chapter and hand-picked the game’s umpires.
Sharyland brass also claims that it has requested documentation from EPISD officials, but that those transactions have not taken place.
Regardless, now that the game has been ruled final, the ink has gone dry in the books, and the postseason must go on.
Long story short: Bye Bye Sharyland Rattlers.
Does Sharyland have a right to be upset?
Yes, of course, their season is over and a team that on paper had a legitimate shot at winning a state title will instead be watching the rest of the playoffs.
Should Eagle Pass apologize? For what?
Until EPISD’s coaches have been proven to have done something wrong, everyone needs to accept the final results from last week’s game, and the Eagles need to stay focused on San Antonio LBJ (whom they host in game one of their region semifinal series at 7:30 p.m. on Friday).
Because if EPHS - for whatever reason – is forced to replay its game against Sharyland, then the Lady Eagles’ season should also be revived.