Warhorse baseball gaining steam with Pearsall tourney on the horizon

“We are knocking on the door, but haven’t been able to open it,” said Head Coach George Villa, summing up his team’s efforts in last weekend’s 2022 South Texas Slugfest held at Warhorse Baseball Stadium. Devine went 1-3 in the tournament beating Pearsall on a walkoff in game one and almost completing nice comeback attempts against Edison and Pool 4 champion Marion.
“It’s been frustrating as a head coach in the aspect that our kids competed their hearts out and couldn’t win more ball games,” Villa continued. “They barreled up a lot of balls during these past four games with not much to show for it. Like I said, it’s like we are knocking at the door but we just can’t get it open. Our motto this next week will be, don’t knock, kick the door down!!!!”
The Horses had chances to win three of the four games played as time simply ran out after five innings against Edison just as Devine closed within two runs when the game ended. Marion went 4-0 in the tournament, but the Horses cooled down the previously high-scoring Bulldogs and trailed by only three runs going into the next to last inning. Again, it seemed just as Devine began getting players on bases to make some noise, the two-hour time limit tournament rule came into effect.
Devine travels to Pearsall to play in the Maverick’s annual tournament Thursday through Saturday with games on tap against Bandera, Pearsall, and Crystal City.
“We need to clean up in the pitching department and try not to make crucial errors in situations. That is where we got hurt really badly in the tournament, and we need to make sure that does not continue to happen as we move through the rest of the season,” Villa said in closing.
Game 1 vs Pearsall
Maybe the most exciting game for Devine this season as they battled back from a 4-1 deficit to beat Pearsall 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning on a walkoff single by Caden Hanson. The victory was not only the first of the tournament for the Horses but also their first victory in 2022 after starting the season 0-4.
A little payback was involved as well. Pearsall topped Devine in both team’s season opener after storming back from an 8-run deficit of their own. The Mavericks won that game in Pearsall in a similar walkoff fashion.
Henry Ramirez earned the win for Devine allowing only one hit over two innings while striking out one and walking one batter. Ramirez did not allow a Maverick base runner to cross the plate, setting up his team’s comeback victory.
Gabriel Esquibel doubled on a deep ball to center in the bottom of the first inning to put a Warhorse runner in scoring position. Hadyn Brumage hit a single to center as well, pushing Brumage across the plate giving Devine the early 1-0 lead.
Pearsall eventually took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth before Devine began chipping away at the three-run deficit. Camden White got to third in the bottom of the fifth on a single and two base errors by Pearsall, later scoring to inch the Horses closer at 2-4.
Devine closed to within 3-4 scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth after Hanson got things going with a full-count walk. Jack Schneider singled Hanson to second before Ramirez’s sacrifice bunt moved them up a base. Hanson later scored on a wild pitch.
White and Brumage got to third base and second base respectively in the bottom of the seventh, then White scored on a Roger Gutierrez single to tie it up at four runs apiece. Luke Friesenhahn who was courtesy running for Brumage scored the winning run on a Hanson single to give Devine the 5-4 victory.
The Hanson walkoff came with only two minutes remaining on the drop-dead two-hour tournament game-time limit.
Devine totaled 11 base-knocks with Hanson, Brumage, White, Roger Gutierrez, and Schneider all collecting multiple hits.
Game 2 vs Banquete
This is a game Devine would rather forget. Walks, hit by pitchs, errors, and not collecting many hits did not help the Warhorses keep this game competitive as Devine took the 10-0 loss.
Banquete is a good team no doubt but Devine took themselves out of the game early, surrendering eight runs over the first three innings with the Bulldogs doing all that damage on the benefit of only one hit.
The Horses mustered 11 hits in the game, but were unable to get timely hits as no base runner crossed the plate.
Game 3 vs Edison
A late rally fell through as Devine lost to San Antonio Edison 5-7 after trailing 3-7 going into their final at bat. The Horses showed life late in the game, but were unable to push the winning runs across before the tournament time limit halted the game after the bottom of the fifth inning.
Devine lost despite out-hitting Edison six to five.
Devine had a 3-0 lead going into the top of the third inning before Edison scored three of their own and put four more runs on the board in the top of the fourth.
Aiden Zapata got on to start the bottom of the second on a hit-by-pitch. Logan Camarillo’s sacrifice bunt moved Zapata to third base, who later scored on a Caden Hanson single putting Devine up 1-0. Hanson later scored from third on a passed ball making it 2-0.
Korbin Campbell walked then reached third after a couple of fielding miscues then scored on a Jack Schneider sacrifice fly, giving Devine their three-run inning.
Devine’s mini-rally in the bottom of the fifth and final inning began with Samuel Guardiola working a five-pitch walk. Camden White moved Guardiola to third on a left field double.
Guardiola scored on an Edison balk, then White scored the game’s final run on a Hadyn Brumage single to left field, making the final 5-7.
Game 4 vs Marion
A tremendous combined pitching effort by Gabriel Esquibel, Henry Ramirez, and Logan Camarillo went to waste as Devine simply could not put runners on base to put a little pressure on the Marion pitcher as the Horses lost 0-5 in the fourth and final game of the 2022 South Texas Slugfest.
Four of the five Bulldog runs were unearned as untimely fielding errors by Devine let some runs cross the plate.
Marion collected four wins in the tournament pool to go undefeated, and Devine never let them pull away. The Warhorses were only down 0-3 going into the final inning before the Bulldogs got two more unearned runs to put the game out of reach.
Devine loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but failed to score.
Up next
Devine plays tournament ballgames once again this weekend in Pearsall. The Horses play two on Thursday with the first against Bandera at 11:15am and the second versus the host Mavericks at 3:45pm. Friday’s first pitch against Crystal City is at 6:00pm.
Saturday’s opponent and game time depends on how the Horses do in pool play.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer