Pearland diamondmen slip past Kempner in sweep

PEARLAND — Pearland head coach Anthony Scalise knows someone above is looking after him and his team after the Oilers swept the Fort Bend Kempner Cougars in two very close game.

Scalise, by his own admission, never thought his players could escape with a win in the best-of-three series opener.

Pearland was down to their final three outs and trailing 4-0 to the Cougars.

Kempner ace Connor Berry had been in full control for the previous six frames and there wasn't any indication that he was not going to be able to close out the Oilers for the first-game victory.

As it turned out, Pearland sent nine players to the plate in the final frame and scored five runs to pull out the improbable 5-4 win to give them the first game in the series.

"Berry is electric, no doubt, which is why we didn't match up our best with their best on the mound," Scalise said. "He had 11 strikeouts. That's the best ever comeback I've had in my career."

Berry had allowed only one hit entering the final frame, however, the Pearland players weren't willing to concede.

Cody Williams got things started for the Oilers with a walk. Ben Paddock reached base on another walk. Shortstop Tyler Kimball hit a slow roller to shortstop and the throw was wild allowing Williams to score and close the gap to 4-1.

Berry was pulled in favor of Tanner Scheutz, but he was going to get his share of trouble.

Seth Mikeska popped up and three Kempner players converged on the ball, but no one caught it as it fell harmlessly to the ground for new life.

Mikeska ended up walking to load the bases.

Jake Orlando punched a single to score Paddock making the score 4-2 with no outs and the bases still loaded.

Catcher Jacob Whitehead hit a hot shot to third, the ball bounced in foul territory which sent Kimball home to narrow the lead to 4-3.

After Ryan Diaz struck out, Caleb Maly stepped up looking for a game-tying hit. However, Scheutz unleashed a wild pitch allowing Mikeska to score and knot up the game at 4-4.

Maly hit a grounder to the right side for a 4-3 put out, but pinch runner Eddie Redou, who was running for Orlando, scored giving Pearland a 5-4 lead.

Jacob Almendarez ended the miraculous rally with a pop out but the Oilers now were in control of their own fate.

Pitcher Brendan Owens was called to get three outs to end the game and he did terrific job as gave up a fly for the first out, struck out the next hitter for out number two and the issued a popup to Williams at first to end the game.

Pearland 4 - Kempner 3

There were really two miracles for Pearland when they beat Kempner in the best-of-three series.

First, there was the improbable five runs to score in the final inning after Kempner had a 4-0 lead.

Second, somehow the Oilers were able to use only three hits to pull out a 4-3 victory to sweep the series and continued their journey in the Class 6A Region III playoffs.

Both teams scored a pair of runs in the first inning making the score 2-2.

Kempner scored a run in the top of the fifth for a 3-2 advantage, but the Oilers managed a pair of runs in their half of the fifth to take the final lead 4-3 to eliminate the Cougars.

Jacob Almendarez was solid at the plate for the Oilers as he was 2-for-3 at the plate, scored one run, and drove in one RBI.

Stephen McBroom had an excellent outing on the mound as he gave up just one hit, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out four during his 2 1/3 innings of work.