Los Fresnos earned a spot in the regional quarterfinal round against Laredo United South after holding off a late rally from Laredo United for a 4-2 victory last Friday in San Juan.
The Falcons (23-10, 10-5 32-6A) play the District 29-6A champion Panthers (29-8-1, 10-2 29-6A) in a best-of-three series beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at Roma. The second game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in Roma, with the third game, if necessary, slated for 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 2.
Los Fresnos pitcher Victor Loa and left fielder Lee Trevino made two potentially run-saving plays in the win over Laredo United, including a pickoff and a throw from the outfield to tag a runner heading from first to third on a single that helped the Falcons record the final out of the first two innings at third base.
“Those were two big plays that we did,” Falcons coach Rene Morales. “(Laredo United) was aggressive on the basepaths, and those kids made plays and that’s all we can ask for.”
Laredo United South swept District 32-6A runner-up Harlingen High in their best-of-three area-round series.
Los Fresnos held practice Tuesday in their gymnasium because of wet conditions on the Falcons’ field. Weather was a factor in Laredo United South’s series opener against Harlingen High, which was postponed due to rain. The forecast for Thursday is a high temperature of 86 degrees with partly cloudy skies and a 20 percent chance of a stray shower or thunderstorm. Saturday’s forecast includes a 10 percent chance of precipitation, with a high of 96 degrees.
The Falcons set up a cage for indoor batting practice and also worked on baserunning and bunting drills on the basketball court of the school’s back gym.
Los Fresnos got out to an early lead against Laredo United because of its well-placed bunts, loading the bases for catcher Jacob Sandoval (who had three RBIs against the Longhorns) without the ball leaving the infield.
“We work on bunting the ball a bunch,” Morales said. “We’re an old-fashioned team, we don’t have too many sluggers, but we’ll bunt the ball, we’ll put the ball in play, force the other team to make plays. … It’s one of those things where we put the little things together, (take care of) the little things, and that carried us to a victory.”