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NATIONAL TITLE The Hays Competition Chee from Houston with national - Page 3B "Squad returns tie. HaysFreePress.com March 31,2010 Page 1B Rebs' Ab:reo belts game-winning homer in 8"6 victory BY JASON GORDON lead. of starting pitcher Shane Kel[ey, throw- That was until Stefen Navarro got the ing three innings and givJ ng up no freepresssports@yahoo.com After a game that saw as many twists and turns as a Fiesta Texas roller coast- er, Phillip Abreo decided it was finally time for everyone to go home. Abreo belted a three-run homer just over the fence in left-center field in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Hays baseball team a dramatic 8-6 vic- tory over Lockhart Monday night at Rebel Field. The game-winning home run came after Hays squandered bases-loaded chances in both the sixth and seventh innings, and after Lockhart plated two runners in the top of the eighth to build what looked to be an insurmountable homer party started in the eighth for the Rebels by nailing a shot to left to trim the margin to 6-5. After Anthony Pe- sina doubled and Trace Gaudy walked, Abreo hit the game-winner on an 0-2 count. "I just loaded up and swung," Abreo said. "It was one of those pitches you look for but you hardly ever get. I didn't even feel it coming off the bat. I just heard the sound and knew it was per- fect." The win was important as Hays stayed a game behind district-leading San Marcos in the 17-4A race. The Reb- els improved to 12-6 overall and 3-1 in district play. Abreo also picked up the win in relief PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Lehman's Cydney Ervin takes a solid cut at the plate during the Lady Lo- bos' District 17-4A loss to Del Valle Friday night. Lady Lobos lose game to Cardinals freepresssportS@yahoo.com Unfortunately, Lehman head softball coach Nikki Herrera saw it coming after her squad had just wrapped up an emotional come-from-behind win over San Marcos only a few days before. Her softball squad was feeling good about itself and had the in- side track on the district's fourth and final playoff spot. earned runs. "I'm proud of these kids aJ they stepped up," said Hays t Doug Ragsdale. "They dirt their tents after we got down times. That last inning was r( thing. It was absolute relief Phillip's home run clear the ally roped it." Hays was trailing 4-1 earl] rors in the second and third i to three uneamed runs. The Rebels clawed their , the bottom of the fifth, as Vi scored on a Pesina groundol varro and Abreo scored on L See HAYS BASEB/ ]d the way lead coach L't fold up t couple of ally some- ehen I saw vail. He re- as key er- nnings led ay back in ctor Rubio tt, and Na- )ckhart er- LL, pg. 2B Hays' Phillip Abreo (left) belted a three-run homer to give the Rebels a dramatic 8-6 victory in extra in- nings Mon- day night against Lockhart. PHOTO BY ELENA SMITH Lakers, Spurs headed in opposite directions ike peanut butter and ocolate, they are two eat teams that taste great together. Particularly during the playoffs, where the Spurs and Lakers have faced each other five times since the 2000 season. As I grabbed my overpriced soft drink and candy and hur- riedly made my way to my court- side seat in anticipation of last week's match-up between LA and San Antonio at the AT&T Center, I felt the intensity level simply wasn't quite as high as in past clashes between these teams. What was different this time around? Had my beloved Lakers become "fat cats" after snagging the world championship trophy last ]une and become compla- cent? Or had the home-standing Spurs simply fallen below the championship level that their fans have grown accustomed to "I was worried that they would take Del Valle lightly and that's what happened," Herrera said. "They are a very good team and are well coached so I knew that they would be a challenge for US." Del Valle's Maria Garcia went 3-for-4 keying the Cardinals' of- fensive attack in their 3-1 win over Lehman in a key district matchup on Friday night. Garcia lined a leadoff double two pitches into the game over centerfielder Monique Johnson's head and also belted a triple, fin- ishing with two RBIs on the eve- ning. The Cardinals had several players who had at least one hit in the win. Lehman bounced back quickly in the bottom of the same inning as Liz Valderaz led off the third inning with a triple and was dou- bled home by Feliciana Torres a few pitches later. See LEHMAN SOFTBALL, pg. 2B PHOTO BY MARY CANDEIE The Alamo Heights boys soccer team defense against Hays prevented striker Parker Thornton and his Rebel teammates from scoring Tuesday evening in the regional quarterfinals held at Clemens High School. The Rebs lost 2-0 to end a magical playoff run. Dream season ends Rebels fall to Alamo Heigt[ts in regional quarterfinals BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com The playofftrain finally derailed for the Hays boys soccer team. After two thrilling postseason victories, the Rebels fell in the re- gional quarterfinals 2-0 against Alamo Heights Tuesday night at Clemens High School. Alamo Heights got on the board early as Mark Landon headed in a rebounded shot offaTaylor Lubinan- ski comer kick to give the Mules a 1-0 advantage less than eight minutes into the game. From there, Alamo Heights put, almost its entire team in defensive mode on the field, making it nearly impossible for the Rebels, who were playing without injured four-year var- sity starter Joe Garcia, to get anything going on offense. "We just couldn't get into the game in the beginning," Hays' Hipolilto Pad- ron said. "I don't know what happened. They just packed their defense in and we couldn't get anything through." Hays head coach Jason Burnett agreed the key to the game was Alamo Heights' defense, which allowed the Rebels only three shots on goal in both the first and second halves. "We came out fiat," Bumett said. "We picked up our intensity and actu- ally played them pretty even. They just managed to score off of two deflec- tions." Hays' only realistic shot to score after halftime came when Emmanuel Gonzalez nailed a shot from 20-yards out, but Alamo Heights keeper Enuy- mar Hemandez was in position to make a leaping save with 30 minutes left in the game. Alamo Heights, which advances to the regional semifinals Friday in Corpus Christi, added an insurance See HAYS SOCCER, pg. 2B seeing? Maybe it was a combination of both. For the Spurs, who are current- ly in the fight of their lives to just make the playoffs this season, it has been a plethora of things. Superstar guard Tony Parker's hand injury had many wondering if the Spurs would miss the post- season, which would be unthink- able for a Gregg Popovich-led squad. Popovich hasn't missed the playoffs once during his 14 years at San Antonio's coaching helm. But the Spurs have gone 9-5 during the stretch since Parker went down, and look like they will at least qualify for the play- offs. Another couple of positives that stood out as I watched the two rivals battle is that Manu Ginobili's post-All Star break resurgence has been phenom- enal, George Hill's rise to the level of a bonafide NBA starter and See THE LAST CAUL, pg. 2B Lobo bas,ebaU team secures :00trst district win at Del VaUe BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com After straggling during much of their pre-district schedule and suffering from various defensive breakdowns that carried over to the start of the 17-4A season, the Lehman baseball team was more than ready to get their first win on the road in Del Valle on Friday night. Senior outfielder ]P Flotes drove in three rtms and starting pitcher Orlando Banda pitched four .innings of one-hit ball to help lead the Lehman base- ball team past Del VaUe 7-4 Fri- day night at Cardinal Stadium. The win improved Lehman's District 17-4/t mark to 1-2. "It was something our kids have worked hard for so I'm glad we were finally able to get into the win column," Lehman head coach Toby Robinson said. "Or- lando was outstanding tonight and our defense was solid, too." The Lobos got on the board early as Justin Vajgert singled in Nick Cerda to give the Lobos a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first. Lehman's lead ballooned to 4-0 as Rotes and Chris TeUo each had rim-scoring singles in the third inning. "I think everything was click- ing for us at the same time to- night," Notes said. "We came out ready to play." Del Valle (8-9, 2-2) answered with a run of its own in the bot- tom of the fourth to dose within 4-1, but the Lobos responded with two mote in the frith as Rudy Martinez singled up the middle to plate Cesar Omelas and give Lehman a 6-2 cushion. The Lehman defense turned in its best performance of the season, committing only a single error in the win. "When we hit and don't give the other teams second chances to score we can be a really good team," said Robinson. 'ad we showed that tonight." The Cardinals were able to trim the margin to 6-4 when Daniel Reyes delivered a rim- scoring double in the fifth and Larry-Rene Gonzales singling in Adrian Gaitan in the sixth. Banda (1-2) went four in- nings, only allowing one nan and surrendering only three hits while walking five and striking out four. Rotes and Cerda each had a pair of hits to lead Lehman (4- 11-1, 1-2). After a road game with El- gin, Lehman will host cross- town rival Hays on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in its second home game! of the season at Lobo Field. [ Our guy8 always look for- ward to playing Hays,' Robin- son said. 'Ifs not hard to get them motivated to play against guys they se e around town." Abeita agreed that a win over the Rebels would go a long way in establishing Leh- man as a pla roff contender. "We knor if we want to make the l:layoffs, they are one of the t ams we have to beat," Ab,eitz said. "We will be ready to go." PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Cesar Ornalas and his Lehman baseball teammates captured their first district with a 7-4 victory over Del Valle Friday night.