Premiere Game of Lobo Classic Challenge Rained Out + Longview Preps for Tough District
LONGVIEW — A heavy mist rained out the cross-town rivalry game between Longview and Pine Tree. The game which was expected to bring out the most fans of the entire 16-game, round-robin tournament.
Like a phrase that was thrown around through Longview’s mixed performances in its tournament, that’s the way baseball goes. The game will not be made up because the Lobos open District 12-5A against Mesquite on Tuesday at home.
The good news was none of the teams that made significant efforts to get to Longview — Texas High, Texarkana (Ark.) Arkansas High, El Dorado (Ark.) and Lake Hamilton (Ark.) — lost a game.
“It is disappointing, but that’s why I put it last,” Longview skipper Bernie Martinez said. “We didn’t have to disappoint people that were traveling. We can cancel this game and it’s not that big of a deal because we play a lot against them in the summer and fall. I know the fans love seeing this game, but for the players it’s not that big of a deal because we do it all the time. With district coming up, I didn’t want to get anyone hurt.”
Lobo Field, which had already hosted 12 games through three days, gave up during Brook Hill’s game against Lake Hamilton. Those two teams players’ body language reflected they were hoping their game got cancelled with a lot of stalling late as the mound and home plate bogged down.
The Longview and Pine Tree coaching staffs, meanwhile, were on the phone checking to see if Pine Tree’s field had held up any better so the game could be moved there. The two schools decided it was better to call off the game.
Longview’s staff did everything it could between innings to keep the tournament alive, but Brook Hill’s game was interrupted late with mound and home plate repairs.
The Lobos (7-10) wrapped up their tournament with a 17-1 against Lake Hamilton on Friday evening. It had lost its prior games against 4A’s second-ranked Whitehouse, Texas High and El Dorado.
“We’ve won games on pitching,” Martinez said. “I really can’t say defense because our defense has been inconsistent. We hadn’t had a game where we were moving the bats, hitting in gaps and doing it at the rate we were doing it last night. That was great to see. Sometimes it’s all you need to get things going offensively.”
Longview handled everything with great sportsmanship. As it was its own tournament, the Lobos staff, players and managers volunteered time doing field maintenance work and running the administrative side of things.
They were there putting the tarps on the mound and home plate to signify the conclusion of the event.
“Future plans, I imagine Pine Tree and Texas High will not be back because they’re going to be district foes now,” Martinez said. “I’m looking to try to get more out-of-state schools to come down. Traditionally, this used to be a Arkansas and Oklahoma versus Texas tournament. I’d like to make that again. I’m going to pursue some Oklahoma teams and more Arkansas teams. I know Springdale (Ark.) is interested in coming down next year.”