In case you missed it, the season’s first installment of the baseball Bird Bowl was this past Tuesday and it was quite a show.
Harlingen won the game 4-3 in a 10-inning thriller that that kept the fans on their feet until well past 10:30 p.m.
With runners on first and second, a ground ball was hit to right field and with the Hawks’ Nick Reasor rounding third and heading home, Ibarra rocketed a ball from right to get Reasor out at home plate, preventing a possible 11th inning.
“We had given up a one-run lead in the seventh and a one-run lead in the eighth, so it was definitely a big play for us to get the runner out on a great throw, and great catch and tag by Nathan Ramon,” said Harlingen head baseball coach Bryan Aughney. “We made three defensive miscues, but give South credit, they took advantage of our miscues and scored runs on them.”
Ibarra also hit an RBI single in the top of the 10th inning to drive in Aaron Pacheco for what would be the game-winning run.
With the win, the Cardinals start the District 32-6A season at 1-0 and, given the difficulty of the district schedule, coach Aughney knows it can only help.
“It’s great to start off 1-0 in district play,” he said. “Obviously beating our crosstown rivals is always good, but give South credit. Mitch Stone pitched a heck of a game and we stranded 17 base runners in 10 innings, but he executed pitches when he had to and we didn’t come through when we needed to.
“There were some errors made on both sides, but it was a good aggressive, fairly clean game on both sides and it just came down to a couple plays there in the end. Obviously we’re excited and we’re happy going 1-0 in district, but at the same time to achieve our goal and become district champions, we have to clean up some of those mistakes.”
For Harlingen South head coach Tony Leal, the game made the spectators the real winners.
“I think both teams fought hard, but I think the winners were the fans because they saw a good game between two teams that put everything on the line and did the best they could,” he said. “There were mistakes on both sides, but that’s part of the game, too. Bryan (Aughney) has done an excellent job with his team and Harlingen has a tremendous team.
“It’s a long season and every team in this district is really good.”
The Cardinals’ next district game will be on Tuesday at Brownsville Rivera. Meanwhile, Harlingen South hosts 1-0 Los Fresnos, also on Tuesday.
RAIN, RAIN STAY AWAY: The Harlingen South Baseball Tournament is set to begin today. Maybe.
Due to the possibility of rain, the call on the outcome of the tournament will be made this morning after coaches assess the condition of the baseball fields.
To find out the status of the tournament go to @Freddy_VMS on Twitter for the latest update.
Should the tournament proceed, host Harlingen South will play Brownsville Porter at 10 a.m. and La Joya at 5:30 p.m. Both games will be played at the Hawks’ home field.
Harlingen High will also start the tournament on their home field. The Cardinals begin the day with a game against Eagle Pass Winn at 10:30 a.m. and Corpus Christi Ray at 5:30 p.m.
San Benito is also part of the tournament and the Greyhounds begin play at 10 a.m. against Brownsville Veterans at San Benito. Afterward, they will take on Port Isabel at 5:30 p.m.
Harlingen South Tournament
POOL A (at Dixieland Field)
G1: Harlingen South vs. Porter, 10 a.m.
G2:Economedes vs. La Joya 12:30 p.m.
G3:Porter vs. CC Veterans, 3 p.m.
G4:La Joya vs. Harlingen South, 5:30 p.m.
G5:Economedes vs. CC Veterans, 8 p.m.
POOL B (Keys Field)
G6: Harlingen vs. Eagle Pass Winn, 10 a.m.
G7: Edinburg North vs. CC Ray, 12:30 p.m.
G8: Eagle Pass Winn vs. McAllen Memorial, 3 p.m.
G9: CC Ray vs. Harlingen (5:30)
G10: Edinburg North vs. McAllen Memorial, 8 p.m.
POOL C (at Harlingen Field)
G11: Mercedes vs. Los Fresnos, 10 a.m.
G12: CC Moody vs. Edinburg Vela, 12:30 p.m.
G13: La Joya Palmview vs. Mercedes, 3 p.m.
G14: Los Fresnos vs. CC Moody, 5:30 p.m.
G15: Palmview vs. Edinburg Vela, 8 p.m.
POOL D (San Benito High School)
G16: San Benito vs. Brownsville Veterans, 10 a.m.
G17: McAllen Rowe vs. Port Isabel, 12:30 p.m.
G18: Brownsville Veterans vs. PSJA, 3 p.m.
G19: Port Isabel vs. San Benito, 5:30 p.m.
G20: McAllen Rowe vs. PSJA, 8 p.m.