Another heartbreaker for the Lions
May 12, 2011 | 512 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jake Havron makes the play in the outfield against Benavides.
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When the Kenedy Lions started the 2011 baseball season they knew going in, that it would be tough to replace the three seniors from the 2010 season. Those young men contributed more offensive numbers than we would think as Jonathon Hackney who hit 478 on the year, Bryan Alaniz who hit 375, and Edward Villanueva who hit 333 on the year would be hard to replace. Even though the 2011 team was returning 6 out of 9 starters and returning 9 lettermen they were going to have to play tight defense and it would be the defense that would cause the heart break in their bi-district series with the Benavides Eagles on May 5th, 6th, and 7th. The best game plan in baseball can change in an instant and they did this year as the make up of the Lions changed do to injuries and the lack of the timely hitting. In game one in George West the Kenedy Lions would take the field as the home team behind the arm of Rolie Zepeda and take a 2 to 1 lead into the 7th inning as both teams scored their runs in the 4th inning. The Lions would score on no hits as Havron and Bell would both walk. Isaac Cruz would then lay down the sacrifice bunt to move both runners up. Tristan Mejia would then walk to load the bases with 1 out. Lane Gaskamp would chop a ball to third which would be thrown away at home allowing Havron to score. Bell would then score on J.D. De Los Santos ground out to short to give the Lions the 2-1 lead. The first heartbreak of the series would happen in the top of the seventh as the Eagles would lead off with a double. The first out would be a strike out, then followed by a walk and an error, then a fielder choice to give the Eagles the 3-2 lead. Benavides would hold off the Lions comeback as we would get the tying run to third but wouldn’t be able to get the run in. The Eagles pitcher would no hit the Lions walking 4 and striking out 5 for the win. More heartbreaking than this loss, would be the loss of Gaskamp for the rest of the series after he reinjured his knee in the sixth inning.

In game two the Lions bats would wake up as they faced elimination. They would score 5 runs in the 1st, 4 in the 2nd, 2 in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th, and 2 in the 6th as the Lions would 10 run rule the Eagles 16-6 and pound out 14 hits and put the ball in play which forced the Eagles to commit 8 errors. Isaac Cruz would do a great job scattering 5 hits even with the Lions defense committing 6 errors themselves in picking up the win for the Lions to even the series at 1-1. Zepeda would go 2for4 with 3 runs scored, Havron would go 1for4 with 3 runs scored, Bell would go 2for2 with 3 runs scored, Cruz would go 2for4 with 2 runs scored, Mejia would go 2for4 with 3 runs, De Los Santos went 1for4, Jon Asebedo went 2for3, and Eddie Villarreal would go 2for3 with a run scored to round out the offense.

In game three the Lions would be the visitors as they lost the flip. Jason Medina would get the start on the mound for the Lions and Medina would give up 1 unearned run in the first inning as he scattered 4 hits over 4 innings of work. The Lions would tie the game in the second inning as Mejia would lead off the inning with a double off the same Eagles pitcher from Thursday night. Mejia would advance to third on a one out ground out and Roland Carrasco would come up with a two out hit to bring Mejia in. In the fifth inning Zepeda would come in to take charge of the pitching duties and give up three base hits as the Eagles would take the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 5th. The Lions would go 3 up and 3 down in the sixth as well as the Eagles and this is where the heartbreak begins. After a pitch hit out by RayJ Garza the Lions with 1 out would start their rally. Zepeda and Havron both would walk. Zepeda would steal third to set up a 1st and 3rd play but the next pitch would be rifled to the left center gap by Bell for a triple bringing in Zepeda and Havron to make it 3-2. Cruz would ground out back to the pitcher for the second out. Mejia would then walk and execute the continuation steal of second, and when the Eagles threw to second, Bell stole home to make it 4-2. De Los Santos would end the inning with a pop up to short. In the bottom of the seventh the wheels would come off the train. The lead off batter would loop a soft base hit over second. The next batter would role a ball just perfectly in the hole between Cruz and Bell to make it 1st and 2nd. Then a walk would load the bases with no outs. Next comes a ball hit to Cruz who makes the throw to Mejia for the force out with no runs scoring and 1 out. The number 6 batter in the Eagles line up would chop a slow roller up the middle which Bell would field and throw out the runner at first as 1 run scored leaving the score at 4-3 in favor of the Lions needing 1 out to advance to Area. Up for the Eagles was their catcher who was 0for8 to this point. He would roll a ball in the hole between third and short and a throwing error would allow the winning run to cross home and end the game giving the Lions their second heartbreak loss in a series that had the Lions 3 outs away in one game and 1 out away in game 3. In all it was a great year as the Lions finish the season 17-11 and they will return 8 of the 12 varsity players next year. I want to thank all of the parents and fans that came out and supported us this year and a special thanks to my Seniors Jake Havron, Lane Gaskamp, Roland Carrasco, and my son Rhett Bell. I am grateful for your work ethic, dedication, and most of all your leadership to the team. You all will be truly missed.

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