SUGAR LAND – Spring Break means rest and relaxation for most students and staff at Fort Bend ISD high schools, but it’s the first crucial week of high school baseball action.
In their District 20-6A openers Thursday, Ridge Point, Travis, Clements and Dulles earned victories. Among other things the young athletes on those ballclubs might be dreaming about as the first day of spring approaches, visions of a 2-0 start dance in their heads in the 14-game race for four state playoff berths.
Ridge Point blew out Kempner, 14-1, Tuesday night. The Panthers, 10-2-1 overall so far, are the consensus pick as the team to beat among the eight Class 6A teams in Fort Bend ISD. They’ll visit the Austin Bulldogs at 7 p.m. in a game fans can hear live on VYPE Sports Radio, counting on continued hot hitting at the top of their lineup. Their first four hitters in the Kempner blowout (Jack Baker, Gabe Colaianni, Hayde Key and Will Pendergrass) were a combined 6-for-10 with eight RBI. Pendergrass had three doubles.
Ridge Point will face an Austin team that will be eager to get their district opener out of their heads. After trailing 3-0 at the end of three innings at Dulles, the Vikings’ offense got hot and routed the ‘Dawgs, 10-0. Reed Manske and Parker Airhart had two RBI each for the Vikes and Jason Brown added a triple to support the pitching of Austin Essex, who threw a one-hitter and struck out 12.
When Dulles meets Travis Thursday night, it’ll be the only battle of two teams who won their district openers. The Tigers (11-5 overall) met Elkins in a district game for the first time in five years Tuesday night, and trailing 3-2 after five innings, they rallied for four runs in the sixth and a 6-3 win.
Clements crushed the Bush Broncos 12-0 Tuesday and will host Elkins Thursday.
For the Broncos and the Kempner Cougars, who will play each other in the 12 noon broadcasted game on VYPE, there’s simply nowhere to go but up. Bush is 2-9 overall following the Clements debacle and Kempner (1-10) was down 12-0 after one inning at Ridge Point Tuesday.
Because of the re-scheduling of rained out games and the need to play their way out of the doldrums, Kempner’s first-year head coach, Eric Folkerts, has played two non-district games this week in addition to the 20-6A contests.
On Monday, in a VYPE broadcasted game, the Cougars got their first win – 11-1 over Houston Furr. Starting pitcher Calvin Lopez allowed only one hit in throwing a five-inning complete game and AJ Montgomery clubbed a 2-run homer. Wednesday, Folkerts’ Cougars took on the new head coach at Fort Bend Christian, Marc Jones, and the Eagles. FBC won 7-2. Jones was Kempner’s head coach from 2012-2018, and is Folkerts’ best friend.
Listen to the live broadcasts of two baseball games on Thursday at https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype: Bush at Kempner at 11:45 a.m. and Ridge Point at Austin at 6:45 p.m. Also, listen to more games next week as week as all of the podcasted Fort Bend ISD games at that same link.