A pair of 3-A titans met on Picker Field Friday night, when the 3-0 Sinton Pirates challenged the 3-0 Robstown Cotton Pickers for the lead in the district title chase.
Robstown's Mike Velasquez took the mound against Sinton's Anthony Banda.
The scoring began in the bottom of the first. Following two walks, an out and a pass ball that advanced two runners into scoring position, Robstown's Mike Velasquez helped out his own cause with a two-RBI single before the first inning was over.
Down 2-0, the Pirates did not take long to make an early surge of their own in the second inning.
After the lead-off hitter reached on an error, Sinton's Trey Gallegos brought in the Pirates' first run.
Sinton's Shane Segovia and Carson Cave finished off the inning by driving in four more runs before the half inning was over, making the score 2-5 in Sinton's favor.
Both pitchers settled down for the next couple of innings while Velasquez scored a run of his own in the bottom of the third to climb within two.
Sinton's Banda seemed to be pitching either outs or walks while avoiding the strike zone as much as possible. The Pickers had trouble cashing in on those free bases until the bottom of the fourth.
It seemed inevitable that Banda would make a mistake with how careful his pitches were and, with two outs and the bases empty, Robstown's Randy Flores cracked the code.
Flores sent a shot over the head of the right fielder, rounded first, then second and slid into third for a two out triple.
Robstown's Alex Marroquin followed up his cousin with an RBI single to bring Robstown within one run.
Velasquez found himself contributing once again with an off-the-wall RBI double.
Robstown's John Rodriguez came through with an RBI single of his own to regain the lead (6-5) for the Cotton Pickers before Banda got out of the inning.
Just when it seemed as though the game would continue to see-saw, Robstown's Trey Leal came in for relief and owned the mound with precise pitching.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Robstown's Matt Vasquez came off the bench with a runner on first (due to a walk) and belted one over the left field wall for a two-run homer.
With the score 8-5, Robstown's offense never cooled down. Leal kept the rally active with a single followed by another Marroquin extra base hit.
Sinton's Trey Gallegos was called in to relieve, but granted Velasquez the intentional walk.
Two more runs scored off an error by the third baseman.
Rodriguez, Ramirez, and Vasquez put an end to any hope the Pirates had of coming back with a combined four more RBIs in the same inning that Vasquez started with a two-run homerun.
Robstown's Leal made sure the score remained 14-5 for the remainder of the contest with the help of his defense.
Following the game, Robstown interim-head coach Leroy Gonzalez talked about the importance of remaining focused.
"Every game is taken seriously. Before you can win the next game, you have to win this one. We were down 5-3. The kids were focused," Gonzalez said. "The kids fought and knew it was important to keep scoring runs and that's what they did."
Robstown improved its record to 4-0 in district and took on Mathis Tuesday. Results of that game were not available as of press time.