Diamondbacks strike first, top Lobos

Lopez pitcher Ivan Banuelos delivers a pitch during the first inning of a Class 5A bi-district playoff game on Friday at Sharyland Pioneer High School in Mission. The Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks defeated the Lobos 7-0. By Stefan Modrich, The Brownsville Herald

MISSION — Jacob Rosales threw a complete game for Sharyland Pioneer in a 10-0 win over Brownsville Lopez in five innings Friday night, ending the Lobos’ season.

The Diamondbacks batted around during the first inning, scoring five runs in the frame.

Sharyland Pioneer also received some help at the plate from its ace, as Rosales doubled to right to score second baseman Juan Rivera. Shortstop Evan Maldonado hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Pedro Tovias. Right fielder Johnny Lugo, third baseman Oscar Serna, and catcher Angel Nunez and designated hitter Rey Hernandez all had RBIs during the first inning.

Rivera singled home two runs in the third, and the Diamondbacks scored three runs in the fifth to win by run rule.

“Anytime you can get runs early, it definitely puts pressure on the other team,” Sharyland Pioneer coach Casey Smith said. “Against a team like Lopez that likes to play the small game, they like to run, like to bunt. When you’re able to get a lead on a team like that it kind of takes that away from them.”

Lopez starting pitcher Ivan Banuelos allowed six earned runs in three innings. Robert Guerra worked two innings in relief.

The game was delayed for approximately 20 minutes when Lobos catcher Mague Mendoza collapsed in the dugout after being hit in the head by a pitch during the fourth inning. Mendoza was sent to DHR Health hospital in McAllen.

“He just broke down and couldn’t continue,” Lopez coach Victor H. Martinez said. “It’s sad, he’s a senior. But it’s part of the game, you’ve just gotta move forward and keep building.”

The Lobos never broke through against Rosales, failing to cash in with runners in scoring position. Banuelos had a two-out double in the first inning, and Mendoza hit a line drive right at center fielder Fabio Valdivia.

Second baseman Raul Gonzalez singled sharply up the middle and stole second, but got caught in a rundown after an ambitious secondary lead.

“Even after Mague’s injury, the kids kept fighting together,” Martinez said. “They were just a little bit too much for us tonight.”

Lopez pitcher Ivan Banuelos delivers a pitch during the first inning of a Class 5A bi-district playoff game on Friday at Sharyland Pioneer High School in Mission. The Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks defeated the Lobos 7-0. By Stefan Modrich, The Brownsville Herald
Lopez pitcher Ivan Banuelos delivers a pitch during the first inning of a Class 5A bi-district playoff game on Friday at Sharyland Pioneer High School in Mission. The Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks defeated the Lobos 7-0. By Stefan Modrich, The Brownsville Herald
Lopez pitcher Ivan Banuelos delivers a pitch during the first inning of a Class 5A bi-district playoff game on Friday at Sharyland Pioneer High School in Mission. The Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks defeated the Lobos 7-0. By Stefan Modrich, The Brownsville Herald
Sharyland Pioneer pitcher Jacob Rosales delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of a Class 5A bi-district playoff game on Friday at Sharyland Pioneer High School in Mission. The Diamondbacks defeated the Brownsville Lopez Lobos 7-0. By Stefan Modrich, The Brownsville Herald
Sharyland Pioneer pitcher Jacob Rosales delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of a Class 5A bi-district playoff game on Friday at Sharyland Pioneer High School in Mission. The Diamondbacks defeated the Brownsville Lopez Lobos 7-0. By Stefan Modrich, The Brownsville Herald
Stefan Modrich Total Posts: 158 Stefan Modrich is a 2017 graduate of Arizona State University, where he was the Sports Editor for The State Press, ASU's independent student news publication. He is also a graduate of the University of Zagreb in Croatia, where he completed a foreign language program in 2018. A native of Franklin Park, Illinois, Modrich previously covered high school sports for The Arizona Republic, Chicago Tribune, and Mars Reel Media.