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MISSION — Sharyland Pioneer saw a chance to close out Corpus Christi Moody in their best-of-three Region IV-5A area playoff series slip through their grasp as the Diamondbacks dropped Game 2, 5-2, on Friday at Sharyland High School.
The series is now tied after the Diamondbacks won 7-4 in Game 1 on Thursday.
“We struggled early,” Sharyland Pioneer head coach Shawn Moes said. “We weren’t swinging the bats bad; they got some really good hops, we got some bad hops. We hit it at them — they were making the plays, we weren’t. That’s baseball.”
Game 3 between the Sharyland Pioneer and Corpus Christi Moody is slated for 2 p.m. today at Hebbronville High School. The Diamondbacks will serve as the away team. The winner between will meet the winner of today’s area round best-of-three series between Weslaco East and Corpus Christi Veterans.
The Trojans drew first blood with a bases-loaded walk during the first to take a 1-0 lead. The Diamondbacks wasted little time as a groundout by Angel Larranaga scored speedy shortstop Juan Rivera after he reached on a leadoff walk, evening the score.
Mistakes began to pile up for the Diamondbacks, however, as an error on a double to right field resulted in two Moody runs for a 3-1 lead.
The Trojans plated two more thanks to an infield error on a throw to first and an RBI double by Justice Salazar.
Moody’s Jonathan Everett finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Salazar, Jadiel Soto and Isaac Vidal all drove in one run apiece.
Moes said the Diamondbacks have to shake the Game 2 loss off and shift their focus to winning today’s Game 3.
“Flush this game. Forget about it. Let it go. You’ve got to have a short-term memory and let the past be in the past and start visualizing tomorrow,” he said.
David Benitez led the Diamondbacks with a solo home run and a walk. Oscar Serna was responsible for Pioneer’s only other hits of the game, finishing 2-for-3.
Pioneer will look to bounce back tomorrow with a spot in the regional quarterfinals on the line.
“We have a lot of seniors who have played a lot of games over the years and they have that experience,” Moes said. “It’s a weird game, but I think it’s going to be who makes the least amount of mistakes tomorrow. Today we made the most, tomorrow hopefully we make the least and do what we’ve been doing all year and I think we’ll be OK.”