Road warriors: PN-G didn’t go away easily, even after a long journey

Published 11:26 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

PORT NECHES — From Baytown to Nederland, to no game, to Crosby, to Pearland, to Jasper and finally to Madisonville, this season-ending series was crazy for Port Neches-Groves.

It will be a series the Indians remember for a long time, especially the way it ended. The Santa Fe Indians eliminated PN-G from the Class 5A playoffs with a 2-1 victory in eight innings Monday.

“This was definitely one of the worst I have ever been a part of,” PN-G coach Scott Carter said of the all the travel and cancellations. “It was a lot of travel and a lot of work trying to find a dry field. You have to give credit to the kids for staying focused because Monday was a great played ball game.”

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The two Indians squads first met for Game 1 on Wednesday at Baytown Sterling, a 6-1 Santa Fe win.

Game 2 was scheduled for back in Baytown on Friday, but rain washed that idea out and the two teams agreed to drive back to Nederland. That plan quickly went away and the game was postponed until Saturday.

The two teams finally matched up in Game 2 at Crosby on Saturday and PN-G won 2-1 to force a Game 3. Another round of rain in Crosby forced the teams to consider moving to Pearland before that thought was also rained out.

So, the coaches decided on Monday in Jasper. Jasper was hit with rain, and finally Game 3 was played in Madisonville.

“I am just one man but in my opinion the UIL should amend the rule to allow teams to play playoff games on Sunday,” Carter said. “Sunday was a beautiful day. There is a rule you cannot play all year on Mondays, and that is the correct rule, but in the playoffs if this type of situation pops up, then I believe you should be able to play on Sundays.”

The Indians (22-8) won their second straight District 22-5A championship this year and did it on the backs of all three phases of the game.

PN-G got great starting pitching from both Ryan Leckich and Carter Henry. The PN-G defense was tough with the likes of shortstop Nathan Vidrine, third baseman Austin Bost and outfielder Cole Girouard. The hitting was led by the likes of Adam Morse, Logan LeJeune, Trey Toney and Chase Warren.

“We had a great year,” Carter said. “We had a great group of senior leaders with great leadership. We started the year off shaky and that was because of the tough tournaments we play in.

“The pitching really came around and the hitting did too. This group was a lot of fun to work with. They made practice fun every day. We just ran into a very talented team.”

Monday’s loss also brought another PN-G season to an end in the second round of the playoffs. The Indians last got past the area round in 2010 when the team lost in the regional semifinals to Friendswood.

“We tip our hat to Santa Fe,” Carter said. “We hate the way we lost the game on Monday, but that is baseball. We will go back to work and get busy. That is what we do. We are PN-G. We are still trying to get over Monday, but soon we will start thinking about next year.”

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe.

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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