United Longhorns back in area round

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 12:27 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - Only a pair of Laredo teams remain in the area round including the guys at United who are back in the second round for the first time since 2019 but they have their eyes set on an even deeper run.

It was the marathon of all marathon games for the Longhorns last weekend.

Not only being pressed into 12 innings but being forced to do it over two days as Thursday’s game would get called off for weather but when they picked up the action on Friday in San Antonio, it was all Longhorns and they say the reason for that is simple.

“Our energy in the dugout and the chemistry with the team is just really good and our defense is looking really good, our pitching staff is amazing this year,” said Justin Lanier.

The pitching and defense have been there all season for United boasting six arms all with ERA’s at three or better while sure hands like Ozzie Munoz and Ramon de Alba are up the middle. The real question is will the bats come to life?

“I think scoring first and scoring early in games just really helps us get momentum in the game and keep up with the upbeat momentum,”

“If our offense is there, we’re going to make a deep playoff run and our defense has been there all year, so we just have to make sure our bats wake up for this next series,” said Rick Covarrubias.

They did against Stevens, helping the Longhorns advance and it didn’t go unnoticed by United players and fans of the past.

“It was a good sense of relief, haven’t gone to second round in a while and all the guys felt really good. We have some guys from previous years text us like ‘hey great job, we’re proud of you guys’ so it’s a real good feeling.”

“It feels good that people are watching us, old teammates, players from the past, it feels good that they are following us and hopefully we can make a deep playoff run.”

“Getting messages from your parents and all your families saying that you did a good job means a lot,” said AJ Sanchez.

Now the Longhorns turn their eyes to a Valley foe and ironically the same ones that beat them in 2019 during this area round, so what will it take for United to be back out practicing this time next week?

“Honestly it’s going to take a lot of heart and we just have to play some good baseball, we got to put the bat on the ball and just pitch amazing like we’ve always been.”

“Knowing how hard it is to make it to the third round, hopefully we just play hard and we’ll be there next week.”

Now both move on to the area round to take on Valley foes, United will kick things off on Thursday against Los Fresnos as they will play Thursday, Friday and if needed Saturday all from Rio Grande City.

The Zapata Hawks are also into the area round after taking down Tuloso midway in the bi-district round in three thrilling games.

Next up is Pleasanton in a best of three series that will start Thursday at 6:30 over in Freer with game two Friday night at the same time and if needed game three will be Saturday at two.

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