Holmes’ playoff show going strong
By Pat Turner
Back in the 1970’s, John Travolta discoed to a popular hit called Staying Alive.
It made the rounds for a while, before fading in the sunset like the entire disco craze.
Now, a new version of Staying Alive has been created by the Holmes Huskies. This one doesn’t happen on a dance floor. It’s taking place on baseball fields and it’s become an instant hit.
Since leaping into the playoffs after winning the District 27-6A championship, Holmes has stayed alive, while providing excitement in each round with come-from-behind victories, clutch pitching and standout defensive plays.
Because of their clever way of staying alive, Holmes carries its show to the Class 6A Region IV best-of-three series against Laredo United.
The opener begins at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Laredo, but game two shifting to South San at 5 p.m. Saturday. A third game, if needed, follows.
This past week saw Holmes turn in one of its more memorable performances in taking two-of-three from Corpus Christi King.
After dropping a 3-1 opener in Friday’s contest at Corpus Christi, the Huskies bounced back for two 4-3 wins the following day at Wolff Stadium.
It was a do-or-die situation for Holmes, meaning one more loss and its banner season was over. The Huskies found way to escape elimination in both contests.
King put Holmes in a quick jam in game two with a pair of runs in the first inning. The Huskies came back with a run in the second when Zach De La Garza walked and eventually scored on Marion De Leon’s single.
The Huskies tied the game in the third on Angel Medina’s run-scoring triple, only to see the Mustangs move back in front in the fourth.
The score stayed that way until Holmes pushed across the tying run in the seventh.
Tyler Dick reached on an error and moved to second on Alex Lopez’s sacrifice bunt, before reaching third on Aaron Arevalos’ single. Medina then followed with single to plate Dick with the tying run.
King appeared to be on its way to breaking through in the eighth after singles from Dillon Delgadillo and Anthony Handel, followed by a two-out walk, loaded the bases. Bland Chamberlain then lined a shot to left but Zach De La Garza’s diving catch ended the inning.
Holmes struck for the winning run with serious clutch work in the bottom of the frame.
After King got two quick outs, Omar Garza and Dick singled. Lopez was hit by a pitch before Arevalos ripped a single up the middle to force a third game.
More heroics followed in game three as King pushed Holmes to the limit once again.
Holmes gained a 2-0 lead in the first with Medina’s two-run single and added another in the fourth.
In that inning, Garza and Dick opened with singles and Jonah Holladay bunted them into scoring position, before a throwing error led to a run.
King took some of the wind out of the Huskies sails by tying the score with three runs in the fifth. Once again Holmes responded in positive fashion.
In the bottom of the inning, De La Garza walked and eventually crossed the plate on an error.
De La Garza, the loser in Friday’s game, added the finishing touch. The Holmes pitcher halted King’s rally in the fifth and then zipped through the final two innings to seal the deal.