CORPUS CHRISTI — Alice was a hit away from possibly tying the Gregory-Portland Wildcats for most of Tuesday’s game in Whataburger Field.

However, it never materialized and the Wildcats, ranked in the top 20 in Class 5A on several statewide polls, eventually put the game away for a 4-0 victory.

With the win, the Wildcats move to 2-1 in District 29-5A. Alice falls to 1-2.

The Coyotes struggled to get to Wildcats’ starter Isaac Ponce, who went seven full innings. He blanked Alice while giving up only three hits. He didn’t allow a single walk. Ponce seemed to get stronger as the game went on. With Alice trailing, 1-0, in the top of the sixth, Ponce faced four batters. Alice put on one board thanks to a Wildcat error, but Ponce struck out the other three batters he faced. He also struck out the side in the seventh.

Alice did threaten in the top of the fifth inning when sophomore Esi Campos led off the inning with a single. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cash Benavidez. Campos took third on a single by sophomore Jacob Guzman. Ponce escaped the inning by forcing a ground ball for the third out.

Campos, Guzman and Isaiah Aguilar accounted for Alice’s only hits. Meanwhile, the Wildcats totaled nine hits off Alice starter Jacob Guzman.

Guzman went five and two-thirds innings. He gave up eight hits and three walks while allowing three earned runs. Campos entered the game in the sixth.

Gregory-Portland’s Malachi Lotts began the game with a lead-off triple. He scored on a single by Ryan Stark. The Wildcats led 1-0 until they scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The rally began with an Austin Atkins single followed by a double by Easton Dowell. Nick Catalano and Lott added to the Wildcats’ lead with RBI singles.