Baseball: Clear Springs backs up season with playoff win
After closing 24-5A action with consecutive losses to Clear Creek and Brazoswood, and scoring only one run in those two contests, the Clear Springs Chargers bounced right back by sweeping Fort Bend Travis in the bi-district playoffs last week.
Clear Springs edged Travis 1-0 in the series opener before moving on with an 8-2 triumph in Game 2.
The Chargers face La Porte in this week's area round with Game 1 at 7:30 p.m. today at La Porte, and Game 2 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Clear Springs.
Game 3, if necessary, is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Baytown Lee.
The teams met earlier this season when Clear Springs beat La Porte 9-8 in the Clear Creek ISD Tournament finals on March 5.
"It was a great game against La Porte, and we expect an intense series against them," Clear Springs coach Chris Floyd said. "They have an outstanding team, but from here on, that's just about all you're going to see."
The Chargers held off Travis in the bi-district opener with senior Matt Brister tossing a one-hit shutout that included 11 strikeouts, and the game's only run scored by senior second baseman Braden Torrez on a double steal in the first inning.
"(Junior shortstop) Jameson Gutierrez got in a rundown between first and second, and that allowed Torrez to get home," Floyd said.
Senior J.C. Neighbors also had a complete-game victory, and added two hits at the plate, and Gutierrez belted a two-run home run, in the series finale.
Senior first baseman-designated hitter-pitcher Tyler Winfield, junior outfielder A.J. Burts, and sophomore third baseman Braxton Hollenshead, who was called up to the varsity late in the season, have also been mainstays in Clear Springs' lineup, according to coaches.
"We had great contributions from top to bottom and in all phases of the game against Travis, and that's what we'll need against a good La Porte team in the second round," said Floyd, who served as a Clear Creek assistant coach for 11 seasons before starting the program at Clear Springs three years ago.
"It's our first trip to the playoffs and we'd like to stick around for a while."
La Porte, the District 21-5A champion, swept Pasadena Memorial 11-1 and 12-8 in the first round.
The Clear Springs-La Porte winner advances to the region quarterfinals against 23-5A champ Clements or 22-5A runner-up Dobie.
Local Advertising by PaperG