High School Baseball: Alice set for first regional quarterfinal appearance since 2009

Rey Castillo
Alice Echo News Journal

Clutch hitting and dominant pitching has been a big reason why Alice is 4-0 in the postseason.

The Coyotes swept Hidalgo in the bi-district round and knocked off District 29-4A champion Pleasanton in the area round to punch the program's first ticket to the regional quarterfinals since 2009. 

"It feels great," said Alice pitcher and third baseman Cash Benavidez, who pitched a shutout against Hidalgo. "We put in the work and we talk about going deep in the playoffs. We're speaking that into existence."

Starting pitcher Isai Campos pitched seven innings, allowing one run and struck out eight in the Coyotes' 6-1 win against Pleasanton in Game 2. 

Alice scored three runs in the first inning on an RBI double by Benavidez and a two-run single by R.J. Carrillo. The Coyotes added three runs in the bottom half on an RBI double by Campos and RBI singles by Matthew Molina and Ryan Galvan.

"It's been an amazing ride," Alice coach Nick Alvarado said after Friday's game. "You don't really realize it until the moment it happens. We're always into every pitch, every out of every game. Now that we have some time to reflect, it's an amazing part of this community, and these kids deserve it."

Alice baseball players celebrate after a 6-1 win against Pleasanton in Game 2 of the Class 4A area round on Friday in Alice.

The Coyotes (18-15) will play District 31-4A rival Tuloso-Midway at 7 p.m. Friday in Alice. 

The game against the Warriors will be a one-game playoff with a trip to the regional semifinals on the line. 

A regional semifinals appearance would be the first for the Coyotes since 2001.

Alice and T-M split their 31-4A contests during the regular season.

Th Coyotes lost the first meeting 15-2, but responded with a 7-2 win on April 20. 

The Warriors (21-14) swept Sweeny to advance. T-M is also undefeated in the playoffs and has won five straight games.

"We had a mindset coming in and we executed it," Alvarado said. "Tuloso-Midway is a district foe and we've been in many fist fights with hem. They're a formidable team playing really good baseball, but so are we. It's going to be a really interesting match up."

IF YOU GO

TULOSO-MIDWAY WARRRIOS AT ALICE COYOTES

Schedule: 7 p.m. Friday, Alice

Twitter: @reycastillo361

Radio: KOPY-92.1 FM

What to know: This game will be intense from the first pitch, not only because it's a one-game playoff but both teams are in rare territory for the postseason. Tuloso-Midway is making what is believed to be the program's first appearance in the regional quarterfinals and Alice is returning for the first time since 2009. This is a matchup that will be worth the price of admission. The winner will advance to the regional semifinals to play either Sinton or Sweeny.