Bats come alive as Warhorses win two, tie one in Pearsall Tourney

Twenty-five runs in sixteen innings gave the Devine Warhorse baseball team a 2-0-1 record over three games in last weekend’s tournament in Pearsall. The Horses won easily in game one as they defeated Bandera 11-2 before busting out for eight runs with six of those coming in their final at bat against Natalia to win 8-2.
Their third and final game had its ups and downs as Devine took what-one-would-think was a commanding 6-2 lead into the final inning before settling for a 6-6 tie against old rival Carrizo Springs in game three of the tournament on Saturday.
Devine improved offensively from their home tournament a couple of weeks ago as hits were hard to come by in that four-game set. In Pearsall, many of the 25 runs were scored off 24 Warhorse base hits.
Warhorse batters exercised patience at the plate as well in drawing nine walks over the sixteen innings.
Head Coach George Villa was more than pleased with the overall improvements his squad showed in picking up two wins, and coming within a heartbeat of going 3-0.
“We definitely took a big step forward this past weekend,” stated Villa. “We played well pretty much the whole weekend. Even the game we tied (which we had a 4 run lead heading into the last at bat), we were playing well up until that point. Obviously, we still have a lot to improve on, but our progress is where it needs to be at this point.”
Game 1 vs Bandera 11-2
Hanson tosses one-hitter, K’s 13
Warhorse pitcher Caden Hanson dominated Bandera batters throughout the ballgame, busting them for 13 strikeouts while surrendering only one hit and four base on balls. Hanson’s pitching gem was backed up by a strong hitting Devine lineup that scored 11 runs on 11 hits. The Warhorses also walked four times to keep pressure on the combination of Bandera pitchers.
Hanson and the Warhorses gave up their only run of the game in the first inning. A quick glimpse back to last week’s tournament in Devine may have given the team and coaches a case of deja vu as the Horses surrendered several runs in early parts of ballgames during that tournament in which Devine went 1-3.
That was not the case for this game however as Devine went on to score four runs in the first and third innings before scoring another three runs in the bottom of the fifth to put the game out of reach.
One-two-three hitters Samuel Guardiola, Gabriel Esquibel, and Camden White led off the bottom of the first with three consecutive singles before Hadyn Brumage drew a four-pitch walk to push Guardiola across the plate for the first run of the game for Devine.
Aiden Zapata was plunked with the very next pitch to score Esquibel. Brumage worked his way across the plate later on a Hanson single, then Jack Schneider put the ball in play to score Roger Gutierrez giving Devine a 4-1 lead going into the second inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Warhorses benefited from putting the ball in play and at least three Bulldog errors.
Hanson earned a walk to start things off. Luke Friesenhahn, who was courtesy running for pitcher Hanson, moved to third base after a Sage Cruz single and a Bandera fielding error.
Guardiola put the ball in play, giving Bandera another opportunity to misplay a ball. Friesenhahn and Cruz scored on two separate errors to bump Devine’s lead to 6-1.
The Horses tacked on two more runs as Guardiola scored on a passed ball and White scored on yet another fielding miscue by the Bulldogs.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, Esquibel walked then scored on a White double to center field. White later scored on a Zapata groundout, then Brumage scored on another Bulldog passed ball giving Devine their 11-2 triumph.
Devine’s 11 runs is hopefully a sign of good things to come as the bats are coming alive.
Hanson’s 13-K pitching performance did not allow for many balls to be put into play for the Warhorse defense. In fact, Hanson struck out the side in each of the first, second, and sixth innings and K’d two more Bulldog batters in the fifth and seventh innings.
Game 2 vs Natalia 8-2
6-run inning fuels victory
With the game tied at two runs a piece going into the bottom of the fifth and final inning due to tournament time regulations, Devine scored six runs on four hits to pull out the 8-2 victory in the second game of the day for the Warhorses.
Devine followed up their 11-hit victory over Bandera earlier in the day with a 10-hit, 8-run performance in game two.
Natalia had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before Devine battled back to tie it.
The Horses scored in the third as Henry Ramirez led off with a single, and then came around on Samuel Guardiola’s double. Devine put another run on the board in the fourth inning as Roger Gutierrez singled with two outs and came home on a single by Logan Camarillo.
The fifth inning was a good one, no doubt, for the Warhorses as Hadyn Brumage’s single scored Caden Hanson giving Devine a 3-2 lead. Camden White scored Devine’s second run of the inning on a dropped third strike to Zapata followed by a passed ball, boosting the Warhorse lead to 4-2. Brumage scored on what appeared to be a double steal according to the scorebook.
The 5-2 lead was big, but keeping the game-clock running was bigger at this point as the end of the allotted time frame neared.
Zapata scored the sixth run on Jack Schneider’s single, Gutierrez pushed across run seven on a balk, and Schnedier scored run number eight on a Luke Friesenhahn hard ground ball single to right field to end the game at 8-2.
Devine got solid pitching performance once again, this time in combo-fashion as Ramirez and Camarillo allowed only four hits and two earned runs between them.
Ramirez went 3.2 innings, surrendering three hits and striking out another three. The big thing for him and the Warhorse defense is he gave no free passes.
Camarillo pitched 1.1 innings in relief, giving up one hit and one walk but walking only one batter.
Game 3 vs Carrizo Springs 6-6
So close
The Warhorses left the field shaking their heads after this one as 5-0, 5-1, 6-1, and 6-2 leads all disappeared in the Wildcats final at bat of the ballgame as they came from behind to tie Devine 6-6. Devine could not get the final out before Carrizo Springs tied the game, but did hold on for the tie as the Wildcats stranded the potential game-winning run at third base.
Devine’s bats continued to stay alive early in the game as the Warhorses put five runs on the scoreboard in the top half of the first inning, loading the bases as Samuel Guardiola singled, Gabriel Esquibel doubled, and Camden White drew a walk.
Hadyn Brumage HBP brought in Guardiola, and an Aiden Zapata ground out scored Esquibel to give Devine a 2-0 lead. Roger Gutierrez worked a base on balls to load them up once again.
White crossed to give Devine its third run, Sage Cruz was yet another hit batter that scored Brumage for the fourth run, and Gutierrez was run number five as a pitched ball got past the catcher.
Guardiola walked to open the fourth and eventually scored on a White groundout to the shortstop.
The Horses were cruising into the bottom of the fifth until things unraveled quickly. The Wildcats put four on the board with the Horses committing a fielding error, getting an out on a fielder’s choice, two walks, a single, another error, and the game-tying single before recording the second and third outs of the inning.
With the long half-inning, time ran out and the game ended in the 6-all tie.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer