Impressive PNG baseball season comes to end following marathon playoff game

Published 12:20 am Saturday, May 18, 2024

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The Port Neches Groves High school baseball varsity team lost to the Friendswood High School Mustangs 0-10, May 17, at the Barbers Hill baseball stadium in Mont Belvieu.

The Indians started off slow, allowing the Mustangs to score two runs in the top of the first inning.

“Friendswood came out and played good baseball, that’s the difference,” Head coach Scott Carter said. “They played really good baseball. They hit the fastball well, they hit balls hard and we didn’t do that tonight. I don’t want to take anything away from them.”

The Port Neches-Groves baseball program won 15 more games in 2024, advancing to the playoffs. (Brian Quijada/The News)

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The bottom of the first inning and the top of the second inning would go scoreless for both.

The game was delayed in the bottom of the second inning due to lightning and rain, but the rain could not dampen the Indians as two hours later the game continued.

“With the rain delay when we had to have a two hour break, it changed things for both teams,” Carter said. “We had to change pitching, we had to change our position players, we had to move some things around because of the weather delay.”

MORE COVERAGE — See game photos from the playoff game here.

Both teams went scoreless in the third inning, but in the top of the fourth, Friendswood would add another one making it 0-4.

PNG’s hopes would be revived after the team managed to get three players on base, but unfortunately despite having the chance to win or tie, the Indians fell short and went scoreless in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Friendswood would go on to score seven runs in the top of the fifth, leading the game 0-10. After two pitching changes, PNG’s Sean Gardner would close out the inning.

“We had an opportunity to get out of the inning and we made an error and then we had a couple of balls hit hard,” Carter said. “If you’ve been involved in sports, when it starts going downhill, sometimes it’s like a snowball and it’s hard to stop. And we finally got it stopped. But there was nothing really that went wrong. They started hitting the baseball and there wasn’t much we could do about it. We had one error. That was all.”

After a scoreless bottom of the fifth inning from PNG, the game would end due to the 10-run rule.

Despite the loss, this season was a significant improvement from last year, winning 15 more games, advancing to the playoffs.

The Indians ended their season with a 24-14 record.

“I really enjoyed these seniors. I’m going to miss these seniors. I’m looking forward to the upperclassmen, underclassmen, growing and getting better,” Carter said. “PNG baseball is not done. This season’s done, but we’ll be back next year and see what happens.”

— Written by Brian Quijada