HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Munoz, Baeza enough for Bronchos in series opener

ABILENE Jacob Munoz homered and Cristian Baseza pitched a three-hit shutout as the Odessa High Bronchos opened their Class 6A regional quarterfinal baseball series with a 1-0 victory over Keller Timer Creek on Thursday at Walt Driggers Field.

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. Game 3, if necessary, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Timber Creek’s Rhett Halstead retired the first 14 Odessa High batters before Munoz lined a 1-2 pitch out to left with two outs in the fifth inning. It was Munoz’s second home run of the season and the fifth for the Bronchos (27-10). Bo J. Martinez had Odessa High’s only other hit, a two-out single in the sixth. Halstead struck out four and walked none in taking the loss. He allowed just the two baserunners.

Baeza (11-1) needed just 81 pitches in throwing his ninth complete game of the season and first seven-inning, complete-game shutout. Baeza had a five-inning shutout in an 11-0 victory over Andrews on Feb. 22, and worked five scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory against Denver City on March 8.

Baeza struck out two and walked two in blanking the Falcons (27-10). He retired Timber Creek’s first seven batters before giving up a one-out single to Riley Sands in the third.

The Falcons loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on an error, Mateo Gil’s single and a walk to Drew Pollum. Baeza got out of the jam when Zack Gregory was thrown out at the plate and Brayden McAlister struck out. With two on and one out in the fifth, Baeza got Nic Thompson to ground into a double play.

Gregory led off the sixth with a double, but Baeza got two popups and a groundball to protect the lead.

In the seventh, Timber Creek’s Alex Serrell reached on a hit by pitch with one out and moved up on a grounder. With the tying run in scoring position, Odessa High third baseman Julian Jimenez caught Jose Luna’s line drive for the final out.

Odessa High 1, Keller Timber Creek 0


At Walt Driggers Field, Abilene


Timber Creek. 000  000     0   —     0      3     0

Odessa High. 000  010      x   —     1      2     1

Rhett Halstead and Nic Thompson. Cristian Baeza and Andres Martinez. W — Baeza (11-1). L — Halstead. 2B — Timber Creek: Zack Gregory. HR — Odessa High: Jacob Munoz (2).

Records — Keller Timber Creek 27-10, Odessa Hgih 27-10.