Baseball coaches breakdown standings as district play heats up
Published 12:22 am Saturday, April 2, 2022
Local baseball teams are getting into to midseason form with a few district series under their belts.
After falling to Nederland in the first game over spring break, Port Neches-Groves came back to beat the Bulldogs in the second game and put together a good performance against Beaumont United to turn around the start of the district season.
After splitting with PNG, Nederland split with Galena Park last week.
Despite an 11-1 loss to Galena Park, Memorial Head Coach Ahmad Smith said he felt the game was the best his team has played this season.
PNG Head Coach Scott Carter said his team has continued to play hard.
“We are just doing what we do,” he said. “Picking a win up over Nederland was big for us. That is always a rival game. It makes it tough with Coach Spell and his staff over there. They do a really good job, and those kids are always very competitive and our kids are competitive. It is Mid County Madness baseball-style. It is always good to at least come out with a split.”
Carter said the team’s work ethic has been on display as PNG works with a young, inexperienced roster.
“We want them to learn the game the way it is supposed to be,” he said. “We want them to respect the game. They are doing a really good job of getting better at that. We just want them to go out and compete well every night. Naturally, we want to win every game and win the district. We are going to try to. The biggest thing is that they don’t lay down and don’t quit.”
Carter said Caleb Faulk’s senior leadership has been instrumental.
“He has done a really good job for us,” Carter said. “I am really proud that he has stepped up and taken some ownership. Caleb Faulk, Ryley Chiasson and Shawn Gardner have played well. Shawn is a sophomore who moved from infield to behind the plate. He is hitting the ball really well and bats in our leadoff spot.”
In Port Arthur, Smith said his team is still searching for its first district win.
“We are still maturing and learning the game,” he said. “They are giving it everything they have.”
Smith said his team is doing a good job off being mentally tough and added he sees plenty of promise on a young Titans roster that only has three seniors.
“We are swinging it pretty well,” Smith said. “We are playing good defense, backing up our pitchers. We are going to pop that bubble soon, hopefully.”
Smith said Abel Garcia, Emmanuel Garcia and Ariel Kithler have been bright spots on the team.
“We just have to keep our energy up throughout the games,” he said. “We have to stay positive when bad stuff happens.”
Nederland is in a bye week for district play, but Head Coach Bryan Spell earned his 100th career win against Vidor this week.
The coach said the team has been playing through adversity, adding he hopes the team is able to play better as district play resumes for the Bulldogs Tuesday against Beaumont United.