Luck dodges Memorial again in home finale

Published 11:35 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Jessie Riojas put into one word what Port Arthur Memorial’s baseball team has been short on this season — luck.
“Seriously, I think it’s been luck for us,” he said. “The ball hasn’t bounced our way all year long, especially when it comes to district. We haven’t been consistent with that.”
West Brook has been unlucky against every team in District 21-6A except one — Memorial. And on Memorial’s senior night, the visiting Bruins were more than lucky in taking a 9-4 victory Tuesday.
The Bruins (8-19, 2-10 in 21-6A) totaled 11 hits — which matched the Titans’ count. Freshman Will Swope, however, pitched a complete game and struck out six Titans in the win.
Memorial (5-14, 2-9) hammered out five of its hits in the sixth inning, scoring three runs to cut into a 9-0 deficit. Ramiro Sanchez, Kevin Cruz Lugo, J.P. Fernandez and Roberto Collazo opened the frame with consecutive hits, resulting in the first three coming home.
Lugo finished 3 for 4 and scored two runs. Devuan Anderson and Collazo each had two hits.
“The group has worked extremely hard all year long,” Riojas said. “We had a good core of kids. But the only thing we’ve struggled with was luck. We haven’t had the ball bounce our way all year long except for the two wins we had against Channelview.
“These guys will not quit. They will play until the last out and the last inning. That’s one thing I love about this group.”
For the Bruins, the script is similar when they face the Titans. But Tuesday marked the end of a longstanding district rivalry between Jefferson County’s biggest schools, as Memorial will drop to 5A for next season.
“With other teams, we struggle hitting offensively, but when we play Port Arthur, we seem to figure it out hitting the ball and putting the ball in the right places,” Walton said. “Got a little lucky sometimes.”
West Brook scored five times in the second to build a 6-0 lead and added three runs in the fifth. Leadoff man Kanid Robertson went 3 for 5, while Sean Cunningham and Tyler Sterling each added two hits.
Carlos Granados, Memorial’s third pitcher of the night, struck out four. Starter Joe Chretien took the loss after 1 1/3 innings, with Anderson working the next three.
Memorial will close its season Friday at North Shore in Houston.

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About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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