AP NEWS

Lopez, Dobie tighten grip on playoff berth after blanking Rayburn 2-0

April 10, 2019

In a two-game series that has state playoff implications, Dobie High School’s varsity baseball team took a big step towards punching their ticket for the postseason Tuesday night.

Longhorns hurler Alan Lopez pitched a complete-game shutout in leading Dobie to a 2-0 District 22-6A victory over rival Sam Rayburn at Maguire Field.

With only a game separating the two programs heading into this week’s showdown, Dobie now has some room to breathe with only five contests remaining.

Memorial, with its win over South Houston Tuesday, slipped ahead of Sam Rayburn in the district standings by percentage points. But if the Texans are unable to split the series with Dobie and the Longhorns sweep South Houston next week, Dobie’s end-of-season series with the Mavs will become meaningless.

In other words, Dobie’s in the driver’s season again to representing Pasadena ISD for the playoffs.

Dobie head coach Miguel Torres watched Lopez just dominate Rayburn’s lineup. Lopez retired the last 11 batters he faced, starting the streak with a 4-6-3 twin-killing in the fourth that erased the last Texans batter Lopez put on the basepaths.

The last hit he allowed was a leadoff double by Reyes Berrones in the third that obviously never made the complete tour thanks to a grounder back to Lopez, a strikeout and a fly ball to left field.

Sam Rayburn starting pitcher Mario Garcia did his job, keeping the Texans within striking distance, but three third-inning singles and a run-scoring sacrifice fly gave Dobie its only runs the burnt orange would need on this comfortable night.

Garcia allowed two or more hits in the third, fourth and sixth innings, but he kept collecting key third outs.

What proved to be Dobie’s winning rally began with a Noah Torres singles, a Miguel Torres sacrifice bunt and back-to-back singles by Christian Cleckley and JoJo Moreno, Dobie’s top two batters in its lineup.

After Jeffry Mercado was intentionally walked to get to clean-up hitter David Amaya, Amaya lofted a high fly ball to center field, enabling the second run to score.

The two teams meet again on Friday at 4 p.m., back at Maguire Field.

ravery@hcnonline.com