McALLEN — When the going was good, the San Benito Greyhounds thrived.
But it was when the going got tough that the ’Hounds shined brightest.
After letting an 8-1 lead slip away, the boys stopped the bleeding and then scored four insurance runs to beat McAllen Memorial 12-8 on Tuesday night in McAllen.
The win for San Benito (3-3 overall, 1-0 district) in the 31-5A district opener was a crucial one in what’s expected to be a competitive district race.
“The kids showed discipline, heart and character,” ’Hounds skipper Ram Partida said. “Coming back and winning on the road was big time. Our goal was to win our first district game and we were able to do that.”
Tommy Padilla (5 hits, 4 strikeouts in 5 innings pitched) started on the mound for San Benito. Ray Aguilar came on in relief and went three innings, scattering three hits and striking out one to get the win.
The ’Hounds led 6-1 after three innings and were in complete control of the contest. But the home Mustangs (0-1 district) charged back and tied the game at 8 apiece in the home half of the fifth inning.
Rather than fold, San Benito came out swinging in the sixth inning.
Adan Guzman (2-for-4) crushed the second pitch he saw for a solo home run to give the lead back to the ’Hounds. Ruben Reyes (2-for-4, run scored) immediately hit a double off the wall and later came in to start the scoring surge. When all was said and done, San Benito put up a four-spot and held Memorial the rest of the way.
Stars at the plate for the ’Hounds included Victor Gaytan (3-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored, 2 walks), Josh Huerta (2-for-5, RBI), Tommy Padilla (3-for-4, RBI) and Chris Padilla (1-for-2, 3 runs, 2 walks).
San Benito next plays at the Mercedes Knights of Columbus Tournament beginning Thursday against Marine Military Academy. The ’Hounds’ first home game of the season will be next Tuesday, March 5 against PSJA North at 7 p.m. at Greyhound Field.