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Livingston sweeps Silsbee

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IMG 6995BRIAN BESCH | PCE

By Brian Besch

Shutting down a late threat Saturday, Livingston Lion baseball advanced to the area round, after sweeping Silsbee in two games, 7-4 and 3-2.

A grand slam from Blake Compton gave the Lions the lead for good in the contest Friday night.

Saturday morning was a closer, low-scoring result that was in doubt until the final out was recorded.

“They are a bunch of characters that just love to play for each other and we have to fight for ourselves,” Livingston coach Wade Halfmann said. “We have to find a way. You cannot win a game when you're not having fun, and we don't lack energy.”

Tyler Seek started on the mound for Livingston, throwing a complete game in a gutsy performance.

“You talk about somebody that wants to grind for his team,” Halfmann said. “He gets a nice base hit and gets stepped on and he gets injured.”



The coach offered to pinch-hit for his pitcher, but Seek was more than willing to bat. Seek would later take a line drive off the ankle that would hobble him a bit more, but again he batted and again produced a base hit.

A two-run homer in the fourth inning would be the only mistake that cost Seek runs. It tied the game at two each. It also didn’t seem to cut into Livingston momentum. The Lions played with a high energy all seven innings.

"They were happy for those 10 seconds and that trip around the bases, because they didn't actually believe, in my opinion (they would win)," Halfmann said.

Livingston had put up two runs in the inning before, starting with a single by Compton. Walker Findley sacrificed him to second and he would come home on an RBI-triple from Cooper Brown. On a Lane Huson sac fly, Brown would touch home plate.

Jacob Haynes and Huson both took a base on balls in the fifth, and Gage Morris delivered the winning run on a single.

The Tigers threatened in the final frame, with a one-out triple. However, Seek induced two ground balls to finish off the game and the series.

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Shutout win in rubber match

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IMG 6875BRIAN BESCH | PCE Big Sandy Wildcatscelebrating a win.

By Brian Besch

The Big Sandy Wildcats scored early and often Saturday, clinching a bi-district championship over Iola 11-0 in Willis.

"We played to our full potential today," Big Sandy coach Blake Brown said. "We played good defense, pitched well, put the ball in play and took advantage of some situations on the basepaths to score in every inning."

The Wildcats made the most of their time at the plate. They scored 1, 2, 4 and 4, respectively, over the four frames.

Trace Flores, Bryce Barnes, Brayden Young and Ethan Murphy each had two RBIs, with the latter three collecting two hits as well. Young and Murphy scored twice, while Trever Quinones crossed the plate three times.

As a team, the Big Sandy offense had more hits (13) than recorded outs (12).

"Our guys had really good at-bats all the way up and down the order," Brown said. "Every time we got somebody in the box, we were seeing a lot of pitches. I think we got hit by a pitch five times today. Pretty much all of the baserunners that we got today were moved into scoring position and a lot of those were paid off."

Tony Carter pitched on a limited count, with only 76 tosses to work with Saturday after making relief appearances in both games Friday. He was able to finish Game 3, covering five innings in just 63 pitches.

He scattered five hits and a walk, and struck out three Bulldogs.

"Defensively, we just made a lot of plays. Isias Walker had a really good game. He played (shortstop) today while Tony was pitching and he made every play that was hit to him."

"Tony did a good job of getting on top of their bats, so there were a lot of balls in the air. I think they got their first hit in the third inning. Tony just commanded the game from the bump all day. Defensively, we were just there to make the plays behind him."

Brown said the next opponent, Shiner, will be present a big challenge. The Comanches are 22-2 and the Texas High School Coaches Association ranks them as the top team in the state.

"It is going to be a tough matchup for us. They are a tough matchup for anybody. I am never going to count my kids out if we play good baseball and play clean defense like we did today. I know they've got one really good pitcher and, as a team, they are pretty salty. I feel like our guys will come ready to play."

The series will begin Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Navasota and continue Saturday at 11 a.m. and (if needed) 1:30 p.m.

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Gold, gold and more gold

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Onalaska athlete captures multiple first-place medals at state meet

By PCN Staff

“I am still feeling fine and my legs are not sore at all,” Onalaska student-athlete Will Boyce said Friday morning. “I'm ready to run more races if I had to.”

Not exactly the answer you’d expect from someone who competed over three and half miles the day before, but then, Boyce isn’t your average athlete. He had one of the better showings in Texas history Thursday at the 2021 UIL State Track Meet, collecting titles in the 3200-meter run, 1600-meter run and 800-meter run.

The 3200-meter run (two miles) occurred at 9:15 a.m., the 800 meters took place at 5:20 p.m. and the mile was a short time later at 7:50 p.m. in Austin’s Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Boyce said the accomplishment hasn't really sunk in, but he has watched videos of the races and heard several people tell him he pulled off a feat never done before. Runners were not allowed to compete in more than two distance events before 2016. Obtaining gold in all three events is believed to be a first.

“That mile (final race) was pretty tough on my legs,” Boyce said. “Coming off of that 800 was not fun, but trying to hold out to win all three of those races with a whole day’s worth of running — first of all, is unheard of and it is really hard to pull off, but I guess I had enough energy left in me.

“I wish it was set up to where it was a two-day event to have more time to recover. I feel like, since it was so spread apart, that I was able to produce good times. It was definitely helpful. There wasn't much time to recover from that 800 race. If I'm being honest, me and my coaches and teammates went back to our car and ran the (air conditioner) and I laid out in the back. I just kind of rehydrated and refocused myself to finish that mile.”

Though the school had just one representative qualifying for the state meet, Boyce scored enough points (30) for Onalaska to register a team finish of second place. He finished just 15 points off from team champion Brock.

After crossing the finish line in the final race, he said there were many emotions.

“This whole year, I've been pretty much preparing to try to Triple Crown at the state track meet. I've been working so hard throughout the year, and to have everyone there that supported me throughout my life, they helped me push toward that goal that day. I felt like I could accomplish it coming into it, but upon accomplishing it, it just blew my mind that I was able to do it. To describe the feeling is something that I can't say with words. It is pretty crazy.”

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All races had their own challenges, the Onalaska star said there was point in each where he felt confident in victory.

“The mile, definitely I felt like I could win after that first lap (of four),” Boyce said. “We ran really slow on that first lap and coming off of that 800, I knew if we ran slow in the first lap, I would have been set up for a good sprint finish at the end. I knew I could beat everyone in a sprint finish, because I had the fastest 800 time going into the state meet. I was pretty confident at that point. In the 800, it was just teeth gritting and putting my head down and running fast. The two miles (3200 meters) was easy.”

Both of Boyce’s parents attended Sam Houston State University and he will do the same to run for the Bearkats. He said the goal is to win as many championships as possible while in Huntsville.

“Sam Houston has a really good program for people who want to be teachers. That's where I want to go and what I want to do in life, so I figured Sam would offer me the best education. It is also close to home and I'm more familiar with that area.”

So, where do you go in the state’s capitol city to enjoy such an accomplishment?

“The celebration (Thursday) night was kind of put to a halt. We couldn't find anywhere really to eat. We had to go to a Whataburger, but lots of Dr. Pepper was drank and lots of hugs and tears were shared. Today (Friday), we are going to go eat somewhere nice, I'll tell you that much.”

Team standings (top 10) — 1. Brock, 45; 2. Onalaska, 30; 3. (tie) Dallas Life Oak Cliff, 22; Riesel, 22; 5. (tie) SA Great Hearts Northern Oaks, 20; Mineola, 20; Daingerfield, 20; 8. (tie) Whitney, 18; Franklin, 18; Spearman, 18; Little River Academy, 18

3,200 meters — 1. Will Boyce, Onalaska, 9:27.31; 2. Marco Rey, Presidio, 9:32.30; 3. Wyatt Hoover, Poth, 9:34.78; 4. Angel Torres, Tornillo, 9:40.54; 5. Crawford Kiser, Amarillo River Road, 9:41.93; 6. Logan Courtney, Lorena, 9:54.74; 7. Jacob Bustamante, Bishop, 9:54.75; 8. Hayden Moussa, Ponder, 9:59.18; 9. David Magdaleno, Waskom, 10:16.18

800 — 1. Will Boyce, Onalaska, 1:54.71; 2. Chris Saling, Tuscola Jim Ned, 1:56.48; 3. Obi Landeros, Valley View, 1:58.16; 4. Reese Lara, Santa Rosa, 1:59.01; 5. Ryan Butters, McGregor, 2:00.08; 6. Hayden Montgomery, Tulia, 2:00.28; 7. Rodolfo Sandoval, Progreso, 2:03.24; 8. Devin Ferris, Valley View, 2:03.90; 9. Tate Hughes, Wall, 2:08.06

1,600 — 1. Will Boyce, Onalaska, 4:26.37; 2. Marco Rey, Presidio, 4:27.56; 3. Wyatt T. Hoover, Poth, 4:27.94; 4. Angel Torres, Tornillo, 4:30.52; 5. JoseCarlos Hernandez, Lytle, 4:31.47; 6. Travis Sims, Elysian Fields, 4:35.07; 7. Logan Courtney, Lorena, 4:35.77; 8. Noah Richardson, 4:37.01; 9. Hayden Moussa, Ponder, 4:45.05

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Pollok Central exits Corrigan feeling Moody

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IMG 6476BRIAN BESCH | PCE Orlando Ramirez slides into third for an RBI-triple as Coach Kevin Purvis and the team look on.

By Brian Besch

Corrigan-Camden baseball finished out the 2021 season, sending off a longtime coach with a 10-0 victory over Central in six innings.

The home team started things off 2-0 in the first inning, as Javier Gallegos reached first via infield single and Matt Moody singled, pushing Gallegos to third. A double steal got Gallegos home, and Moody reached third on a throwing error. Orlando Ramirez then slugged an RBI-triple that rolled all the way to the wall in right field.

In the fifth, Julian Pavlino walked and Buddy Riddle sacrificed him over. Kason Riddle used that to drive in a run with a single. After Gallegos was beaned, a double steal moved both runners up 90 feet. Moody struck again, driving in a run on a base hit for the 4-0 advantage.

Moody was not only good in the batter’s box, but also shut out the visiting Bulldogs in six innings of work on the mound.

Six runs scored in the sixth to end it, as Issac DeJesus and Pavlino each drove in two with base hits, a run scored on a fielder’s choice and Moody delivered in the final at-bat of the season, driving a ball up the middle to score the runner from third.

 


Kevin Purvis coached his final baseball game for the Bulldogs Tuesday after 14 years of leading the program. He stepped back in 2021, allowing Amaro Villareal to take over as head coach.

“The kids really got after it and performed well,” Purvis said after getting the Gatorade bath from former players. “I couldn't be any more proud of them than I have been in the 14 years I've been doing it.”

Purvis said he enjoyed his time in Corrigan and is ready to step aside. He will remain on the Bulldog staff, concentrating his efforts on football.

“It has been just great kids, great attitude, great effort and a pleasure to be around them,” Purvis said. “We're turning it over to a good guy here. Coach V will take over and go with it. Coming back to my hometown and staying here 14 years and to be as successful as we have, I'm pretty proud of it. I'm also proud of all the kids and coaches that have come before.”

Corrigan fell just a game short of making the playoffs. Some fans were scoreboard watching Huntington and Diboll, as the Red Devils took a 4-1 win. A Lumberjack victory would have meant a postseason berth as the four seed for the ‘Dogs.IMG 6494BRIAN BESCH | PCE Matt Moody threw six innings of shutout baseball to collect the win.

“We took care of what we had to do,” Villareal said following the game. “We left some games out there that we shouldn't have, but at the end of the day, we did what we wanted to and put ourselves in the situation to be here (in playoff contention). The season was up and down, and we are young. We have five seniors, but the future is bright.” 

Many of those seniors played key roles and compose most of the top half of the order. Villarreal said others will need to step forward and they will need a few from a strong junior varsity team to fill some spots. The new coach said a few were purposely kept down on JV to allow for more playing time.

“We've won some big games and beaten some good teams in some good tournaments,” Villareal said. “As the season went on, we grew together as a team and it is going to be tough to replace those five, but I've got a good nucleus coming back. I'm excited for Corrigan baseball and I thank Coach Purvis for stepping aside this year and letting me get my process started to build for a new future here.”

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Defending state champions swatting big flys

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IMG 6363BRIAN BESCH | PCE Lady Lion senior Elaina Evans stretches for the throw from third base in her final home game.

By Brian Besch

The Livingston Lady Lions dropped their final home game of the 2021 season Tuesday, as the Hargrave Lady Falcons took a 6-1 decision.

Showing some power at the plate, the Lady Falcons utilized a couple of home runs in the fourth inning that would decide the outcome. Hagan Pike smacked a solo shot, and after a runner reached base, Maddi Smith notched two more on the board with a connection that cleared the wall in left field.

Added to a run scored in the first, that put the girls from Huffman up 4-0. Livingston pushed a run across in the sixth inning, started by a Kaylie Bush single and sacrifice off the bat of freshman Jaycee Knighton to push her to second. Carrie Parker slapped a single into the grass and slid into second when the throw home could not catch Bush.

IMG 6425BRIAN BESCH | PCE Carrie Parker slides into second base after driving in a run.

Pike would strike again in the seventh with the bases loaded and no one out. Her single allowed two more to score.

“It has been a struggle and we will make a mistake and then make another mistake,” Livingston coach Ruth Wright said. “Knowing what we are supposed to do when we get the ball, we've done a lot better, I thought. They don't have the experience and I have been playing with different positions, so they have had to get comfortable at two different positions. I basically go with if you are getting the job done at the plate, I am going to put you somewhere defensively.” 

Three of those that Wright said has performed at the plate this season are freshmen. They have also functioned in key roles when the Lady Lions take the field. Allison Lytle and Knighton both contribute by pitching and Baylee Yantes has been on the receiving end behind the plate. On Tuesday, Lytle started, throwing four frames and Knighton finished off the final three.

District 21-4A has produced the last two state champions in Liberty and Hargrave, and the competition is proving strong once more this year.

“The bottom line is this district is amazing,” Wright said. “The pitching is great and if you miss your spot, it can be deadly. The combination of pitchers (Lytle and Knighton), they got a lot of reps this year and that confidence is going to help. On varsity playing as a freshmen, I have three of them and they stepped up and did a great job. They are only going to get better.”

On the other end, the Lady Lions will lose a lone senior, first baseman Elaina Evans.

“Ever since freshman year, this group of girls has been great,” Evans said of her time wearing the green. “I'm going to miss the girls the most. We have grown together, played together, improved together and made great memories. We have had great coaches that have not only taught us to play the game, but to love the game. I'm just going to miss the people I've built a family here with the most.”

IMG 6354BRIAN BESCH | PCE Kaylie Bush would single and score the only Livingston run Tuesday.

With most everyone returning next year, the coach is optimistic on the future of Livingston softball.

“We’ll continue to grow. With Elena being gone, we're going to miss her, but the depth here is good,” Wright said. “These girls are going to work outside of school and there are several that are playing select ball. This year has been (about) building, obviously, and we are getting a little more consistent.”

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