The Seguin Matadors are in an unusual position for a high school baseball team.
Because of the size of District 26-5A, which has nine teams, the Mats don’t get a grace period before being thrown into the district race.
By comparison, Marion and Navarro get a few games each before their district seasons begins, Mar. 10 for the Bulldogs, and March 24 for the Panthers.
But Seguin started with the first game of the year against Kerrville Tivy, one of the stronger programs in district, and fell 12-2 to open the 2020 campaign.
Already in the middle of the district games, Seguin hosted its home tournament last weekend, going 1-2 over the two days with a win over Pleasanton (5-1) and a loss to Devine (7-5) on Friday, and a Saturday contest against Cornerstone Christian.
The Mats would fall to the Warriors 9-1, as Cornerstone put up a seven-run fourth inning to get the win.
“These tournament games are just about getting better, finding the right guys to fit in where they need to fit in and just improving,” head coach Dusty Brittain said. “It’s about getting better every day, all the way to the smallest things.”
Brittain spent quite a bit of time in a huddle with the team after the Warriors put up the big inning.
At least a couple of the runs came home because of small misplays in the field that allowed an extra base, or prevented an out.
“We just have to do the little things right,” Brittain said. “They hit the ball well, but we made a few mistakes here and there that come down to the small things.
“Winning or losing that game is not the end of the world, the end of our season, but we’ve got to be able to figure out a way to make ourselves better — all the little bitty things matter. Even in an eight-run game, every little thing matters.”
The Matadors lone run came in the bottom of the fourth, when Martin Rivera singled to reach with one out.
Marques Washington came in as a pinch runner and eventually scored from second on a Charles White ground ball in the infield and an error by the Cornerstone catcher.
Micah Rodriguez went 2-2 at the plate, and Rivera, White, Drew Burnett and Alex Concepcion had a hit apiece for Seguin.
Heston Osborne took the loss for the Mats, giving up six earned runs and eight hits.
Rodriguez came on in relief and gave up three hits and one run.
The Mats are replacing 14 graduated seniors from last year, but the coach has several that saw significant playing time last season.
Last year’s All-Area Player of the Year Tristan Moreno returns, although he was out Saturday with an illness.
He’s joined by pitcher Michael Hernandez, catcher Cory Mazzurana, pitcher and outfielder Chase Boenig, Rivera, Rodriguez, Burnett and Stephen Kent.
“We’ve got some good guys back, and we’ve got some guys that are new,” Brittain said. “It’s trying to figure out where we’re going to play everybody. We’re a young team as a whole, but have some guys with varsity experience — we’ve just got to keep getting better.”
The Mats played Wagner in the second district game of the year on Tuesday night.
See the story at www.seguingazette.com on Wednesday.
Marion went 1-3 at their home tournament to start off the year, falling to Lago Vista, Canyon Lake and Harlan, before bouncing back with a 7-6 win over Hondo.
The Seguin Lady Mats softball team went 5-1 at the Northeast ISD tournament to improve to 10-4 on the season. Seguin got wins over Somerset (18-0), Lee (5-0), Highlands (12-2), Clemens (5-2) and Roosevelt (11-1), before falling to Shadow Creek 9-0. Seguin travelled to Veterans Memorial on Tuesday night, looking for the third district win in a row to start the season.
Marion’s softball team went 4-3 at the Kyle-Lehman tournament, beating Southside, St. John Paul, SA Kennedy and Johnson City. The Bulldogs are 8-4-1 to start the season.
Navarro’s Lady Panthers (4-6-1) went 1-4-1 at the Jourdanton tournament, beating Natalia in their final game of the tourney 5-4 on a Sydni Stevens three-run shot in the top of the seventh inning.
Kevin Duke is the sports editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at email@example.com .