HS Watch: Maldonado, Pioneer Advance to State

Evan Maldonado of the Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks
Evan Maldonado throws the first pitch of Game 2 Friday night.

Sharyland High School and Sharyland Pioneer met in Edinburg at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley baseball field for their Texas 5A best-of-three playoff series this week . . . Thursday saw the stadium filled to capacity, some fans had to be turned away and ended up beyond the outfield fences looking in with cameras and binoculars just so they would have a view.

Cougars commit Evan Maldonado put his signature all over this series between local rivals for the chance to advance to the state tournament in Austin next week.

In game one of the series on Thursday night, Evan Maldonado, batting fifth in the order, hit a homerun over the left field fence to give Pioneer a 2-1 lead . . . For Maldonado it was only his second homerun all year . . . The Pioneer Diamondbacks would take a 7-3 lead into the seventh inning and would eventually hold on to win the game 7-6 and take a 1-0 series lead.

Friday night was a much different affair . . . Maldonado was on the mound for the Diamondbacks, and he was in the batting lineup . . . Both teams scored in the first, with a run scoring against Maldonado on a fly ball that was dropped by the center fielder allowing a runner from second to score on the error . . . That was the only run the Sharyland Rattlers would score on the night, and it was the last time the score was close.

Maldonado led off the third inning with a double down the third base line, and he would eventually score the fifth Diamondback run to give them a 5-1 advantage.

The Diamondbacks scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take an 11-1 lead, which meant the Rattlers of Sharyland needed to score a run to extend the game . . . Evan Maldonado was not having any of that as he shut the door on the Rattlers and their season, and helped Pioneer punch their ticket to Austin and the state baseball tournament next weekend . . . Maldonado pitched the complete five inning game allowing just the one run. –

. . . . . . . . . . . .  1   2   3   4   5   6   7    –   R 
Pioneer            0   1   0   1   1   2   2     –    7

Sharyland        0   1   0   0   0   2   3     –     6

. . . . . . . . . . . .  1   2   3   4   5    –   R
Sharyland        1   0   0   2   0    –   1

Pioneer             1   3   1   6   –    –    11


HS Watch: Future Cougars Faceoff in 6A Playoff

Ridge Point vs. Kingwood Texas 6A baseball playoffs

Future Houston Cougars faced each other on Thursday night on a field that they will share soon enough when they’re wearing the scarlet and white . . . Houston’s Schroeder Park is playing host to the 6A baseball playoff series between Kingwood and Ridge Point this week.

Tre Richardson of Kingwood and Will Pendergrass of Ridge Point met with a fist-bump at home plate when Richardson led off the bottom of the first inning for Kingwood.

Tre Richardson had a rough night at the plate, aside from being hit by a pitch in the sixth, he had a great plate appearance in the second when he hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly that carried to the warning track in right field . . . The drive was deep enough that all three runners tagged and advanced . . . In the field, Richardson was as smooth as ever, making several great fielding plays to get runners at first.

Will Pendergrass hit a two-out triple to right-center in the third inning to plate a runner from second and tie the game at one . . . Until the fifth inning, the Pendergrass RBI was the only Ridge Point run on the board.

The game went to extra innings and Ridge Point would get a run across the plate and then hold Kingwood scoreless in the bottom of the eighth to end the game and secure a 6-5 victory and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

The two teams return to action Friday night at 7pm at the University of Houston, Ridge Point can advance to Austin next week with a win, Kingwood can force a third and deciding game on Saturday. –

. . . . . . . . . . . .  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   –   R   H   E
Ridge Point    0   0   1   0   4   0   0   1        6    10   0 

Kingwood       0   1   1   3   0   0   0   0        5   10   0

HS Watch: Tormos, Van Alstyne Take Game 1

Samuel Tormos of the Van Alstyne Panthers
Samuel Tormos
(Photo via the Van Alstyne baseball Twitter account)

The Van Alstyne Panthers got one game closer to advancing to the 3A state baseball playoffs in Austin next week with a 2-1 victory over Harmony in Tyler.

Samuel Tormos, a Cougars commit, took the mound for the Panthers on Thursday night . . . In all, Tormos pitched four innings allowing just one run in the third inning and he struck out six . . . A great key to his success was his getting eleven first-pitch strikes.

At the plate, Tormos had a hit (a triple to the wall in left-center) and an RBI in the fourth inning, the only inning the Panthers scored any runs in the game . . . Tormos’ hit was one of only three hits the Panthers would get on Thursday.

With the win, Van Alstyne takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series which resumes Friday at 7pm in Prosper. –


. . . . . . . . . . . .  1   2   3   4   5   6   7    –   R   H   E
Van Alstyne    0   0   0   2   0   0   0         2    3    0

Harmony        0   0   1   0   0   0   0          1   9    0

HS Watch: Hogeboom, Argyle Advance to State

Bo Hogeboom of the Argyle Eagles
Bo Hogeboom
(Photo via his Twitter account.)

Bo Hogeboom, a junior on the Argyle Eagles baseball team, and a Cougars commit, is headed to the Texas 4A state baseball tournament next week in Austin . . . The Eagles not only won the game, but starting pitcher Chad Ricker no-hit Iowa Park in the one-game playoff to advance to the next round.

For his part, Hogeboom, who batted ninth as the designated hitter, was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt in the second inning and a single to center in the fourth . . . As a team, the Eagles improve to 38-1-1 on the season with the 2-0 victory and the more baseball the Eagles play, the more experience the future Cougar gains along the way. –

Box Scor       1 2 3    4 5 6    7   –  R   H   E
Argyle           0 1 1    0 0 0    0   –  2    8    1
Iowa Park    0 0 0   0 0 0    0   –  0   0    0


Cougars 2019 Season Comes to an End


The Houston Cougars were left out of the 2019 college baseball regionals . . . Given the upsets and irregularities that took place over the weekend, this is less and less of a surprise.

Following the selection process, completed just moments ago, the Cougars were the first of the four teams to be on the outside looking in . . . This means if the regionals had sixty-five teams, Houston would have been number sixty-five.

Alas, the 2019 season comes to an end and so do the careers of seniors Grayson Padgett, Joe Davis, Rey Fuentes, Ryan Randel, and Nolan Bond . . . Work toward 2020 begins now . . . Jared Triolo might be done as a Cougar if he is drafted next week . . . And Houston has new incoming talent, not only in 2020 but in the years after it, this talent can be seen at all levels of the Texas high school baseball playoffs still ongoing. –

HS Watch: Evan Maldonado Sets Pace Early

Evan Maldonado of the Sharyland Pioneer
Evan Maldonado of the Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks.
(photo via the Diamondback Baseball Twitter account)

Sharyland Pioneer junior and Houston Cougar commit, Evan Maldonado, set the pace early and had a big day for Diamondbacks as they advanced to the next round of the Texas 5A state playoffs on Saturday afternoon in Laredo . . . Pioneer’s opponent was Boerne Champion, a team ranked number two in 5A in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches poll.

Sharyland Pioneer won the first game of the three-game series on Friday 6-3 . . . Beorne Champion won an extra inning 8-6 slugfest in Saturday’s first game, forcing a deciding game three late Saturday afternoon.

In the top of the second with the game still scoreless, Evan Maldonado hit a double to drive in the first run for the Diamondbacks, giving them a 1-0 lead with his RBI . . . In the next inning, Maldonado batted with runners on second and third and he drove a single into shallow right-center to plate both runners and make the score 4-0.

Evan Maldonado was 2-for-3 in the game and reached base one other time with a walk, but his three early RBI set the pace and effectively put the game out of reach for Boerne Champion as Sharyland Pioneer took the game 11-0 and advanced to the next round where they will face Sharyland for a spot in the state baseball tournament in two weeks. –

Box Scor                 e    1 2 3    4 5 6   7   –  TOTAL
Sharyland Pioneer     0 1 3   3 2 0   2   –  11
Boerne Champion     0 0 0   0 0 0  0   –  0

Newspaper column version of this recap

HS Watch: Richardson, Kingwood Advance

Tre Richardson of the Kingwood Mustangs
Tre Richardson (via the Kingwood HS Shutterfly account)

Houston Commit Tre Richardson helped his Kingwood Mustangs advance in the 6A playoffs on Friday night at Rice’s Reckling Park.

Richardson took no time making his presence known by the Texans as he led off the first with a base hit for the second night in a row.

With two outs, Richardson doubled off the left field wall in the second inning for an RBI, he had fouled off several pitches until he got a pitch he could drive, the hit missed being a homerun by inches . . . After reaching second, Tre stole third base, the play was close but he was safe.

Defensively Richardson was smooth and quick . . . He turned two different double plays on Friday night: One that was fielded by the second baseman, he fed Tre a nice throw, Richardson glided across the second and fired an accurate throw to first to complete the play; on the other double play, Richardson fielded the ball cleanly and got a good, quick toss to the second bagger when then got the out at first . . . Finally, in the sixth, Richardson fielded a grounder to his right, toward third base, and he made a strong, accurate throw to first to get the last out of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Kingwood loaded the bases with no outs and Lamar went to the bullpen . . . Richardson punched a hit through the left side for a single and an RBI as Kingwood, who was leading 3-0 entering, started to put together a five run inning on the way to taking an 8-0 lead . . . Richardson was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI in the game.

Kingwood would eventually close out the game for an 8-3 win and a two-game series sweep of Lamar . . . Kingwood moves on, they will play Ft. Bend Ridge Point in the next round. –

Box Score    1 2 3    4 5 6   7   –  TOTAL
Lamar          0 0 0   0 0 0   3   –  3
Kingwood    0 2 0   1 0 5   –   –  8

Newspaper column version if this recap

HS Watch: Richardson Superb in Win

Tre Richardson of the Kingwood Mustangs
Tre Richardson (picture via Kingwood HS Shutterfly account)

Tre Richardson had himself a ballgame at Rice University’s Reckling Park on Thursday night . . . The Cougars commit, a junior at Kingwood High School, played some amazing defense at shortstop against the Lamar Texans in the first game of a best-of-three series.

Richardson led off the game with a walk . . . In the third inning, Richardson would tie the game at one with a single and he would end up on second after a throw to the plate, he would then score from second on a single to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead, a lead they would not relinquish . . . In his next plate appearance, Richardson would hit the first pitch he saw for a single, the second of his two hits on 2-for-3 night for the right-handed hitter.

In the field, Richardson was dazzling, quick to the ball and accurate with throws . . . In one particular instance that would loom large later, in the bottom of the sixth Richardson caught a line drive ranging well to his left, and he was able to get off a laser to first base to double-up the runner who was unable to react quickly enough . . . Kingwood won the game 7-5 and will play against at Reckling Park on Friday at 7pm with a chance to win the series, or there will be a game at noon on Saturday if necessary. –

HS Watch: Shubert Leads Santa Fe

Rome Shubert Santa Fe Indians
Rome Shubert (picture via his Twitter account)

Houston Cougars commit, Rome Shubert (jr), was on the mound Thursday night in Brenham for a 5A playoff game against Georgetown . . . Thursday’s game was the first of a best-of-three series . . . Shubert was lights out for Santa Fe going 6 1/3 innings allowing just one hit and no earned runs . . . Shubert walked only two and struck out seven in earning the win for the Indians, who take a 1-0 series lead with the 6-1 win and can advance to the next round with a win Friday, or in a Saturday game three if necessary. –

Cougars Conference Bid Ends

Houston Cougars Baseball

Clearwater, Florida was supposed to play host for several days for the Houston Cougars . . . Instead, after a one-run loss on the last batter of the game on Tuesday, and a blowout at the hands of nationally ranked ECU on Wednesday, the rest of the American Championship will be played without the Cougars.

Wednesday, the Cougars had to face American Conference pitcher of the year, lefty Jake Agnos . . . As if that would not be difficult enough under normal circumstances, Houston was facing a team ranked nationally in the top ten, and a team also facing elimination.

Houston pitching was tagged for thirteen runs on fifteen hits against a very good East Carolina offense that was not ready to be sent home . . . It was a tough afternoon for the entire staff.

The Cougars scored their first run of the game in the second inning, without getting a hit . . . Brad Burckel walked to get on base, and after moving around, he would score from third on a wild pitch for the Cougars first and only run against Agnos.

Jared Triolo was 2-for-3 on the afternoon and after getting on base with a double, he would score from third on a Tyler Bielamowicz groundball out to make the score 10-2 . . . The game got further out of hand before finally ending at 13-2, eliminating the Cougars.

The Cougars now wait . . . They have been eliminated from the American Championship, so their fate lies with others . . . There will be a selection process taking place on Monday, and at that point the Cougars will know if they have been chosen to go to a regional, or not. –