Boerne Champion's Michael Gresham and Chris Weber, along with Alamo Heights' Nathaniel Prete, discuss the Chargers' 3-1 win Friday in a District 26-5A game at the Mule Yard.
Boerne Champion knew its ace left-hander likely would not give up any more runs Friday, but that did not matter with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. The Chargers did not have any at that point and were on the verge of losing their second straight.
But Champion pitcher Chris Weber, who had held Alamo Heights scoreless since the first inning, had a feeling his teammates would eventually break through. They did, and now the Chargers are headed to the playoffs.
The Chargers, down to their final out with no baserunners, rallied for a 3-1 win in a District 26-5A showdown on the Mules’ home field. Nine-hole hitter Ramiro Cervera started the comeback with a single to center field, and fellow sophomore Michael Gresham put Champion ahead with a two-run double to right-center.
“That guy wasn’t a guy that should have gotten all of us out,” Weber said of Alamo Heights pitcher Nathaniel Prete. “I knew that it was just a matter of time before we put runs on the board. We’ve got a good lineup.”
Champion (18-7-2, 9-4 26-5A), No. 10 in the Express-News area rankings, stayed in a second-place tie with Dripping Springs (17-8-1, 9-4). Both clinched playoff berths with the Tigers’ 3-0 win against Medina Valley (16-7, 7-6), which is one game behind fourth-place Alamo Heights (17-10, 8-5) heading into their regular-season finale Tuesday at Medina Valley.
Because the Panthers beat the ninth-ranked Mules 8-5 on March 31, they would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with another win. So the winner of Tuesday’s game qualifies for the postseason.
“It’s pretty frustrating in the moment right now,” Prete said. “But I know we have a big game Tuesday, so it’s time to move on and get ready for the next one.”
Weber, a junior who has committed to Texas A&M, struck out 10 and held Alamo Heights to one unearned run and three hits in a complete game. Prete, a senior right-hander, was just as good if not better for 6 2/3 innings.
He held the Chargers to two hits through the first six innings and started the seventh with two outs, including his fifth strikeout. But then the game got away from him and the Mules.
Cervera, making his second start in district play, kept Champion alive with a liner up the middle. Leadoff hitter Luke Boyers was plunked to put two runners on, and Gresham brought them both home with his second opposite-field double in as many at-bats.
Brady Vick followed with a double of his own to plate an insurance run. Weber took care of the rest by striking out the last two batters in a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh.
“He did real good, a lot of strikeouts as usual,” Gresham said. “He definitely did his job on the mound.”
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