High School Baseball: A look at Alice area teams, players to watch

Rey Castillo
Alice Echo News Journal
Alice baseball players go through warmups before practice in Alice.

Baseball is in full swing and for some teams, it's a shot at redemption.

Last season was cut short because of COVID-19 pandemic, but with new gudilines in place and the University Interscholastic League allowing teams to start workouts earlier this season, things are looking bright for the upcoming season.

Following is a look at area teams and players to watch for the 2021 season.

CLASS 4A

ALICE

2020 Record: 6-5

Last playoff appearance: 2011

Key players returning: SS Cash Benavidez, jr.; P-OF Jacob Guzman, sr.; P-Util. Sai Campos, sr.; OF-P Matt Molina, jr.; C-OF Kaleb Aguilar, jr.; P-Util. Tristan Resendez, sr.; 2B-P R.J. Carrillo, sr.; OF-P Adan Moreno, sr.; P Jonathan Tijerina, sr.

The scoop on the Coyotes: Alice returns nearly its entire starting lineup from last season’s squad and looks to end a playoff drought that dates back nearly a decade. The Coyotes will have some pitching depth that could be key in challenging for a playoff spot and a district title.

CLASS 3A

SAN DIEGO

2020 Record: 9-5

Last playoff appearance: 2019

Key players returning: C Sergio Guerra, sr.; OF-P Brandon Ramirez, sr.; OF-P Derrick Gonzalez, sr.

The scoop on the Vaqueros: Guerra, Ramirez and Gonzalez are all multi-year starters and the core of a Vaqueros team that is looking to challenge for a district title. Guerra, a UTRGV signee, is one of the state’s top catching prospects and Ramirez has recently signed with Texas A&M-Kingsville.

ORANGE GROVE

2020 Record: 4-10

Last playoff appearance: 2018

Key players returning: C Tyler Barr, sr.; P-IF Izaiah Botello, sr.; Preston Wright, sr.; P-Util. Ethan Acosta, jr.; P-OF Gabe Moreno, jr.; So. Layton Rodriguez

The scoop on the Bulldogs: Orange Grove makes the move to Class 3A with some key players returning that could make a difference in what could be a tight district race.

CLASS 2A

BEN BOLT

2020 Record: 4-8

Last playoff appearance: 2018

Key players returning: 1B-P Lorenzo Soliz, sr.; SS-P David Perez, so.; OF-P Jaime Gonzalez, sr.; OF Ryan Perez, sr.; C-P Dustin Dunlavy, sr.

FREER

Last playoff appearance: 2019

Key players returning: C-P Hondo Bierstedt, sr.; IF EJ Tarango, sr.; OF John Cantu, jr.; OF-P Ryan Buhidar, so.; IF-P Elliott Ramirez, jr.

PREMONT

2020 Record: 4-5

Last playoff appearance: 2019

Key players returning: SS-P Marky Gonzalez, sr.; 2B-P Jordan Gonzalez, sr.; OF-P Joey Naranjo, sr.; OF Lukas Rogers, sr.; OF-P Darian Rogers, jr.

BENAVIDES

Last playoff appearance: 2016

Key players returning: SS-P Damian Viera, sr.; 1B Andres Hinajosa, sr.; 1B-DH Ryan Guzman, sr.