The Kempner Cougars forced a third and final game in Crosby in the Region III-5A area playoffs against Port Neches-Groves, but the Cougars came up short of advancing to the third round of the playoffs.
Kempner 3, Port Neches-Groves 0
The Kempner Cougars entered Friday’s game at Crosby High School, down 1-0 to Port Neches-Groves and needing a spark.
Alejandro Garcia Alvarez was that spark, the senior hurled a gem for the Cougars.
Garcia Alvarez scattered four hits while allowing pitching seven shut-out innings, and striking out two and walking two.
The Indians had a runner in scoring position in each of the final four innings, but the Kempner starting pitcher left them stranded.
Kempner scored early on offense with a run in the first and second innings. Cody Kuffel, Anthony Marino and Ross Reichardt reached to load the bases with no outs in the first inning.
Garcia Alvarez grounded out to first base, allowing Kuffel to score.
Michael Davey led off the second inning with a single before moving to third on a pair of ground outs. Thomas Moss flipped a ball to right field to put Kempner up 2-0.
Kempner added an insurance run in the seventh after a Marino double, driven in by Reichardt.
Port Neches-Groves 4, Kempner 0
After Alejandro Garcia Alvarez’s shut-out effort on Friday, PN-G’s Landon Guarnere returned the favor with seven shut-out innings to end Kempner’s season.
The Cougars’ offensive chances were few and far between on Saturday, and two double plays on offense didn’t help Kempner.
Brian Luna was 2-for-3 at the plate while Cody Kuffel, Luke Miholland-Geach and Drew Walker each collected a hit.
Nathan Jacobson (4.0 IP), Thomas Moss (0.2 IP) and Luke Milholland-Geach (2.1 IP) combined to allow two earned runs on six hits over seven innings, striking out one and walking four.
Kempner finishes with a 21-13 record overall.