TYLER — Field 5 was a packed house Saturday evening in the Texas East major division opener between Needville and Port Neches. The blue of half of the large crowd went home happy from Tyler with a 5-3 victory at Faulkner Park.
Needville will play against Washington County on Sunday, who defeated Pearland East in the second game of the Major doubleheader.
The future Blue Jays fell behind early following two extra-base hits by Port Neches, but Lucas Robbins, Jaydon Ortiz and Trenton Ross shut out the future Indians over the final 5 2/3 innings of the contest.
Needville’s first lead Saturday was generated by a double by Robbins and a single from Ross. The hits scored Angelo Aprea and Ortiz.
And after Port Neches grabbed the scoreboard advantage in the bottom of the first, Needville wasted no time getting back in front.
Owen Ondruch (walk) and Kase Vacek (single) led off the second inning by reaching base, before both moved into scoring position on a passed ball. A fielder’s choice allowed Ondruch to score and Vacek scored on a fly ball from Ortiz.
Needville added to their lead with three singles from Hunter Bienek Lincoln Wyatt and Ondruch in the third inning. Bienek scored but Wyatt was tagged out at home plate.
Robbins worked around a double in the third and Needville held a 5-3 lead. Ortiz hit a two-out double in the fourth inning, but he was stranded with a strikeout.
Robbins continued to mow down Port Neches batters with three straight strike outs to end the fourth inning.
Each team was able to get a runner or two on base but both pitching staffs prevented a rally from starting entering the sixth inning.
Ortiz allowed a lead-off single in the sixth inning, but he struck out the next two batters he faced before Ross collected the final out with a strike out in relief of Ortiz.
Ondruch allowed three earned runs on three hits over 1/3 inning. Robbins struck out six and walked one over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Ortiz struck out three over 1 2/3 innings.
Vacek was 3-for-4 with a run scored in the lead-off spot. Ross was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Port Neches collected five hits with three going for extra bases.