HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: OHS keeps playoff hopes alive

The Odessa High baseball team kept its playoff hopes alive with a crucial 10-2 win against Midland Legacy Friday at Pressly Field.

Playing in the second of a three-game series in District 2-6A action, the Bronchos (15-13 overall, 5-9 in district) recovered from Thursday’s 4-2 loss in Midland.

Needing at least two wins in the series to remain in the playoff conversation, Odessa High scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning and seven in the sixth.

Legacy fell to 15-16-1, 6-8.

The Bronchos finished with ten hits while the Rebels had six hits and two errors.

Odessa High pitcher Jayven Gonzales took the victory on the mound.

“We finally put both sides of the game together Jayven Gonzales pitched his butt off,” Odessa High head coach Jerod Couch said. “Now, we need to go win again tomorrow. I have to depend on somebody else but we need to do what we need to do and get the win on Saturday.”

With Permian, Legacy and Odessa High all battling for the final two playoff spots in the district, the regular season comes to an intense conclusion Saturday.

Both teams will meet for the regular season finale at 1 p.m. Saturday in Midland.

Wolfforth Frenship and Midland High are the only two teams in the district with their postseason spots secured.

“It’s a win-or-go home situation,” Legacy head coach Eric Garcia said. “It’s been that way in this district for the last couple of years. We would’ve loved to have taken control of things today but that’s baseball. I told my players that if they don’t love being in situations like this, they’re in the wrong place.”

The Bronchos held the Rebels scoreless in the top of the first inning with no hits.

Odessa High managed to get two runners on base in the bottom half of the inning but left them stranded as the game remained scoreless.

Legacy’s Trajan Chavez got on second with his double deep into center field off the fence in the top of the second.

Legacy got a runner on base and then Jaden Rogers’ base hit advanced Yomar Prado to third with no outs in the top of the third inning.

The Bronchos made a double play and managed to keep the score tied 0-0.

An inside the park home run by Bryan Hernandez scored Richard Alvarez to give the Bronchos a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third.

Zorian Del Real followed it up with an out of the park home run to extend the Bronchos’ lead to 3-0.

A Legacy error allowed Jason Friel to get to second as Odessa High continued to keep the foot on the gas pedal.

The Bronchos had the bases loaded after Hernandez was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs.

However, Del Real was unable to get a grand slam as his hit was caught near the fence for an out to end the inning.

The Rebels showed some life when Rey Rey Ruiz singled into left field in the top of the sixth.

A sacrifice by Legacy’s Drew Martin helped Ruiz advance to third.

Cole Neatherlin made it count with his two-run homer over right field fence and the Rebels were suddenly only down by one.

The Bronchos’ response in the bottom of the inning would put the game out of reach.

A sacrificial bunt by Alvarez advanced a runner to second and third.

Charles was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Odessa High with one out.

An error by the Rebels allowed two runs from the Bronchos as Brandon Lopez and Marcos Castro scored to give the hosts a 5-2 lead.

Charles scored off Del Real’s RBI to make it a four-run advantage.

Jason Friel was then walked, once again loading the bases for the Bronchos and still only one out.

Zayne Minjarez’s 3-RBI double then made it 9-2.

Bo Rodriguez’s RBI single scored Minjarez as the Bronchos remained firmly in control.

It was the final home game of the season for Odessa High as the senior players were honored before the game.

“It’s a good way for them to go out,” Couch said. “It’s a special day to remember these guys who have been a part of this program for four years. They’ve been good leaders. They performed well.”