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Bear baseball team in full swing

Bear baseball team in full swing
Colton Parrish settles into the batter’s box during the Bears’ season opener with Churchill.

Basketball season may be over, but the baseball and softball teams are up and running in La Vernia. The Bears started their season with a win, and then went on to finish third in the Cuero Tournament.

On Feb. 17, the Bears hosted Churchill to start things off. Rudy Mendoza was on the mound for La Vernia, and the first batter he faced got to first on a walk. Mendoza responded with a pair of strikeouts, though, and the third out was courtesy of his defense, which caught the Churchill runner trying to take second.

It didn’t take the Bear offense long to get on the board, though, as they hung two runs on the Chargers in the bottom of the first inning. Justin Trevino drew a walk to get on base, and then stole second base. He later advanced to third on a passed ball at the plate. Mendoza ripped a single to right field, and Trevino easily came home for a 1-0 lead. Mendoza would eventually work his way around to third base, but was caught trying to steal home. Colton Parrish scored for the Bears, though, when Dylan Tuten hit an infield single.

The La Vernia 2-0 lead held until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Bears hung three more on the Chargers. A Cole Lowry walk and Drake Bruner bunt put two runners on with no outs. Christian Bruce then ripped a triple to center field, scoring Lowry and Bruner. Trevino later hit a sacrifice fly to score Bruce for a 5-0 lead.

The Chargers lone score of the game came in the top of the sixth inning as Richter struggled a bit with the strike zone, walking three batters and hitting another. He did get a strikeout to end the inning, though.

With a big victory under their belts, the Bears traveled to Shiner Feb. 20 to compete in the Cuero Tournament. La Vernia had a rough start with a 6-1 loss to Victoria East, but came back strong with a 9-2 win over Beeville.

Justus Parker drew a walk to start the first inning, and later scored on a Parrish out to center field. The Bears added two more runs in the second as Bruce drew a walk and then scored on an error, and Richter scored after Trevino drew a walk with the bases loaded. La Vernia added 2 more runs in the third, and 4 in the fourth inning.

After Beeville, the Bears took on Lexington. La Vernia had no trouble earning an 8-2 win, and the team once again was put up against Victoria East. The Titans got the best of La Vernia once more, handing the Bears their second loss of the season, this time by the score of 11-3. The loss put the Bears into a game with Cuero for third place in the tournament.

The Bears had to work hard for the win, but eventually earned a 6-4 victory. La Vernia struck first with a run in the top of the first inning, but Cuero responded with 2 runs in the bottom half of the frame. La Vernia tied things up in the top of the third inning as Mendoza reached base on an error and then later scored on another error. The Gobblers came back in the bottom of the inning to score 2 runs, though, taking a 4-2 advantage into the top of the fourth inning. It was in the top of the fifth inning, when La Vernia got back on track.

Mendoza singled to start off the inning, and Parrish reached base after being hit by a pitch. Lowry popped out to center field, but Mendoza moved over to third in the process. Skelton laid down a bunt to score Mendoza, and everyone was safe on the play to make it 4-3. Parrish then moved over to third on a steal, and Skelton moved to second. Tristan Gardner singled to left field to score Parrish, and La Vernia tied the game at 4-4 with runners at the corners. Gardner was later picked off at first, but Skelton stole home to give the Bears a 5-4 lead.

The errors continued to haunt Cuero, and Karsten Holm reached on an error to start the top of the sixth inning. Cody Cook came in to run for him, and later scored on another error by the Gobbler third baseman. With a 6-4 advantage, the Bears held on for the win.

The Bears are currently 4-2 overall, and will be back in action this week, as they travel across Wilson County to compete in the Floresville Tournament. Their first game is scheduled for Thursday against Lanier.

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