By: JOHN JOE RIVERA
(DONNA) — The bats came alive on Tuesday night as the Port Isabel Tarpons hung on to defeat Donna High 6-5 in a non-district baseball game.
Tony Hernandez took the mound for the Redskins and retired two batters in the opening inning.
In the top of the second inning, Tarpons pitcher Jose Martinez legged out a triple which eventually led to the first run of the night.
Heading into the bottom of the second inning and down a run, Hernandez helped his own cause by scoring a run of his own off an RBI-single by Nathan Gaona which tied the contest at one.
Port Isabel’s Martinez put his team back in the lead as he drove in a run during the top of the third inning to give them a 3-1 lead.
Donna would respond, like they did most of the night, in resounding fashion in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the ballgame at three.
Forrest Jones led off the inning with a single and that was followed by a thunderous triple by Hernandez to drive him home.
Then, just like in the second inning, Gaona drove in Hernandez with a sacrifice out for the third run of the night for the ‘Skins.
Port Isabel batted in two more runs in the 6th inning to help them retake the lead 5-3.
The resilient Redskins responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the 6th inning.
Jeremy Ramirez got on first with a walk which would set up the most electric play of the night. Jones smacked a line drive to the outfield gap and hustled his way to an in the park home run, thus driving in Ramirez to tie the game at 5 runs each heading into the final inning.
In the seventh inning, the Tarpons put the nail in the coffin as Martinez scored yet again to give them a 6-5 lead.
The Tarpons brought in closer Chris Bode to retire the side and seal the win in the bottom half of the inning.
Redskins coach Joey Ramirez hopes his team will learn from this loss before district play commences.
“I tell them it’s not a light switch where you can turn it on and say ‘ok I’m ready to go’,” said Ramirez. “We have to keep that light switch on and keep going.”
After the game, Hernandez reflected on his team’s performance in the contest.
“We have to put in more practice and shape up on the field,” said Hernandez. “And then our batting also, we need to do more batting practice.