They survived and thrived.
On Sunday, the Beeville boys ousted the Odem Owls squad in five innings, 15-5, to claim the District 29 title.
The win advances the squad into the sectional tournament to be held this weekend in Victoria. The Beeville boys will play on Friday night at the Victoria Sports Complex. A time and opponent has yet to be determined, but it will be slated for either 6 or 8 p.m.
After a second round winners’ bracket loss to George West in the Zone A tournament, the Beeville team was just one loss away from elimination in the Little League double elimination affair. It was win or go home the rest of the way for the young Beeville players and coaches.
“That loss left a sour taste in our mouths, and we wanted to remedy that. We united as one team with one goal,” said manager Jimmy Arguijo.
“It was a total team effort. Everyone contributed.”
The Beeville boys went on to win five straight contests, including two in a row over the Longhorns to win the Zone A crown. Sunday’s match-up with the Zone B title holder, Odem, was also a win or go home match for both teams as Odem had already suffered one loss in the tournament.
In Sunday’s district finals, the Odem boys jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, thanks to a few errors by the Beeville defense. The Beeville boys got started with a two-run outburst in the bottom of the first to cut the Owls’ lead in half.
Gabriel Carranco reached on a fielder’s choice. C.J. Arguijo was the first of two consecutive Beeville batters to get hit by a pitch. Matthew Gomez took first base when hit, and that loaded the bases. One out later, Felix Menchaca drove in the two Beeville runs with a sharp single to center that plated both Carranco and Arguijo.
Domingo Maturey relieved Beeville starter David Perez in the second inning and pitched the rest of the way for the local lads, allowing just one more Odem run in the top of the fifth to shut the door on the Owls.
Beeville took the lead with a three-run second frame. Arguijo and Gomez got the big hits. Arguijo drove in one run and Gomez knocked in two base runners on a single to center. Maturey, Carranco and Arguijo all scored for the home team. It was a 5-4 contest heading into the third.
Beeville broke the game open in the third with a five-run explosion powered by Arguijo and Gomez again. Arguijo stroked a two-run single and Gomez lined a two-run double to complete the scoring in the frame. Caleb Marshall came home with the first Beeville run in the inning after reaching on an error. Joseph Hernandez singled and also scored. Maturey walked and scored, as did Carranco.
In the bottom of the fourth, the young Beeville squad added one more run to make it 11-4 heading into the fifth. Felix Menchaca scored the lone tally after reaching on a single to left. He scored on a throwing error from the Odem catcher trying to pick him off at first. The errant throw went all the way to the fence in right field to allow the run.
The Owls threatened to get back into the contest in the top of the fifth as three straight walks from Maturey loaded the bases with one out. The Beeville hurler got the next hitter to pop out to second and then ended the threat by recording a “K” for the third out of the inning and leaving three runners stranded.
The Beeville bats exploded in the bottom of the fifth. David Perez walked to open the inning. A misplayed pop up off Maturey’s bat fell in for a hit. A hard hit shot from Carranco was headed for right field, but Maturey could not quite clear the path of the ball and was called out after it grazed his leg. Then Arguijo and Gomez took over, again.
Arguijo singled to score one run. Gomez collected his sixth RBI of the night with another single, and then Matthew Perez ended the contest with an RBI single to plate Gomez with Beeville’s 15th run of the night to secure the 10-run rule victory and a place in the sectional tournament in Victoria.
To get to the district finals, the Beeville boys downed George West 11-3 on Thursday night and benefited from two days off before facing Odem.