By Kenneth Roberts, Freelance Writer
With the help of outstanding pitching, excellent defense, and timely hitting, the Rio Grande City Rattlers defeated the highly ranked Gregory-Portland Wildcats twice on Saturday, May 11 by scores of 6-3 and 5-3 to achieve a 2-1 series win and advance to the third round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
The Rattlers advanced to the Regional IV semifinals and will face the Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks in a best-of-three series beginning Thursday evening. Game one will be played at Sharyland at 7 p.m. Thursday, game two will take place in Rio Grande City at 7 p.m. Friday, and game three, if necessary, is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday in Mission. All four playoff teams from District 31-5A, including Sharyland Pioneer, advanced to the third round and are among 32 5A teams throughout Texas still in the playoffs.
With the two victories Saturday in Rio Grande City, the Rattlers defeated the No. 7 team in the 5A Texas High School Baseball rankings. The Wildcats entered Saturday’s games with a 30-2 overall record for the 2019 season. The two victories guaranteed that 2019 will be remembered as one of the greatest seasons in Rattler baseball history.