Baseball: Lopez’s 5 RBI power Clear Creek past Clear Brook – Chron.com



LEAGUE CITY – Isaac Lopez, by his own admission, was just trying to put the ball in play.

Instead, he put it out of play.


Clear Creek’s third baseman launched a three-run home run in the first inning and finished with five runs batted in, rallying the Wildcats to a 9-5 victory over Clear Brook Tuesday afternoon in a District 24-6A baseball opener.

Trailing 3-0 after a half-inning, the Wildcats scored eight consecutive runs and held on for the triumph.

Lopez belted his two-out dinger to left in the bottom of the inning after leadoff hitter Lane Brewster singled and Mason Moran drew a walk.

“It was a fastball inside,” Lopez said. “I was just trying to go up the middle with it. There were two outs already, and I was just trying to keep the inning going.


“I definitely knew it was out. At that point, we were just really trying to scratch back.”

Creek would add three runs in the third inning, which proved to be enough on this day.

Moran reached on an infield single to start the third frame and was wild pitched to second. A ground out to shortstop for the first out moved Moran to third.

Daniel Burroway then hit a hot shot to third base which Clear Brook’s Sebastian Pichardo snagged near the ground. After catching it, he then stepped on the bag for what appeared to be an inning-ending double play.

However, it was ruled the ball bounced into Pichardo’s glove, and the turn of events put Moran back at third and Burroway on first.

Lopez then came to bat, and his 5-3 groundout pushed across the Wildcats’ fourth run.

The Creek lead swelled to 5-3 when Hunter Smith’s grounder to shortstop resulted in a Brook throwing error. Another Wolverine miscue on the infield preceded a balk, and Creek’s Andrew Cardi followed with a single to center for a 6-3 lead.

“These are mistakes that we haven’t had all year,” Clear Brook head coach Gene Flores said. “On the home run, we didn’t want to go middle-in, and we missed a pitched there and (Lopez) tied it up with one swing with two outs.

“There’s nothing that deflates a team more with a three-run lead than a three-run homer with two outs. I think starting district, our young guys were a little nervous, which is common. We made mistakes, and it came at a bad time, but we’ve got 11 games left.”


Brook took its 3-0 lead in the top of the first when Mateo Guzman reached on an infield single, Anthony Benavides walked, and they each moved up a notch on a sacrifice bunt.

Jacob Martinez’s ground out brought home the first run before Travis Watson walked.

Cody Dennis hit a liner to left field which was misplayed, allowing two more Brook runs to score for the early 3-0 Wolverine cushion.

After building its 6-3 advantage, Creek scored two runs in the fourth inning. A walk to Brewster, a stolen base and a single by Pete Miller made it 7-3. An error on the play and a double from Lopez widened the bulge to 8-3.

Brook sliced the lead to 8-4 on a two-out pinch-hit RBI single from Luis Lopez Jr., in the fifth inning.

The Wolverines then cut the advantage to 8-5 in the sixth on a walk to Guzman, an errant pickoff throw to first, and a run-scoring groundout from Benavides.

Creek added an insurance run in the sixth when Brewster led off with a home run to right.

Smith pitched the final two innings for Creek in helping preserve the victory.

“To score those runs with two outs…that’s big in baseball, that’s huge,” Creek head coach Brent Kunefke said. “We were able to put the ball in play with two strikes several times, and obviously, Isaac had a big game with five RBI.”

Creek also helped itself with stolen bases along with Wolverine wild pitches and errors.

“That’s kind of our game,” Kunefke said. “We spend a lot of time on base-running. Whether we’re fast or slow, we still try to take the extra base.”

Creek, though, hurt itself with three errant pickoff throws at first base, all resulting in errors.

“We should have never thrown one of them, leading 8-3,” Kunefke said. “That’s something we’ll address. I think kids are trying to compete and get outs when that happens, but coaches have to control it.”

Although the game unraveled on Brook Tuesday, Flores knows Friday is a chance for the Wolverines to redeem themselves at home against the Wildcats.

“I love this group, and I know they’ll bounce back,” the Brook head coach said. “My job is to get them there. We’ve got a good coaching staff, and this young group of kids brings excitement to Clear Brook.

“Our youth showed today. If we can just minimize these mistakes, we’ll be fine.”


tdunnam@hcnonline.com


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