by CHARLES DEE
The Hays High Rebels continued their winning ways Friday at the San Marcos baseball tournament by defeating Antonian 7-3 and host San Marcos 9-1.
The wins on Friday followed an exciting 3-2 win over the highly regarded Hendrickson Hawks in the opening game of the tournament.
During the Antonian game, senior starter Dalton Niles scattered three hits over four innings while striking out six to hold Antonian to 3 runs, two of which were unearned. After a walk in the fourth put two men on, senior Matt Requenez closed out the game by getting the last two outs.
The Rebels were led at the plate by junior Justin Diaz and senior Granger Studdard, who each had a triple and two RBIs.
After two scoreless innings for the Rebs, Antonian got a two-out single to drive in two runs and take the lead in the second. The Rebs responded with a three-run third when Alex Robles and Justin Montana scored on Studdard’s triple. Niles drove in Studdard for the third run and the Rebs never looked back, scoring one in the fourth on a base hit and an RBI by Gibson Hatch and Nate Scott, and closing out the time limit game with three in the fifth after Scott singled in Studdard and Diaz tripled to plate Scott and Devin Palm. The win moved the Rebs to 2-1 on the season.
In the second game of the day, the Rebs came out hot and scored nine to beat San Marcos 9-1. With Niles, Scott and Palm leading the way with two hits apiece, the Rebs broke open a tie game in the third by scoring three, and added a run in the fifth and four in the seventh to win going away. Montana delivered the big hit of the afternoon with a bases loaded double in the seventh. Adrian Acosta went the distance for the Rebels on the mound, striking out five and allowing Rattler batters only three hits.
What a difference a day makes. On Saturday, the baseball goblins moved into Hays’ dugout and jinxed the Rebs into a couple of big innings that allowed San Marcos and Smithson Valley to overtake early leads and put the Rebels on the wrong end of the boxscore.
After leading 3-0 after two, the Rattlers put five across the dish with some timely singles and an untimely Rebel error. The Rebels cut the lead to 5-4 when Robles doubled and later scored on a Jose Cerda sac fly, but San Marcos came back with two more in the fourth to make it 7-4. The Rebels got one more in the fifth, but could close the gap no further. Hatch and Requenez pitched well in the loss, giving up no earned runs.
In a barn burner, the Rebs closed out the tournament against an old district opponent, Smithson Valley. Despite outhitting the Rangers 14-9, a late run by Smithson spoiled a valiant comeback by the Rebels.
Leading 3-1 in the third, the Rebs gave up six to trail. The game became a seesaw battle as the Rebs fought back with runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh to tie the game at nine apiece. In a heartbreaker for Hays, the Rangers got a two-out double and a single to score the winner. Kenny Sparks and Niles led the Rebels with three hits apiece, Niles also having three RBI’s. Studdard and Montana had two hits each, with Montana scoring four runs.
The Rebels left the tournament with a 3-3 season record.