Unless the school was from Corpus Christi, that was the only way a baseball team made the semifinals at the fifth annual Corpus Christi Coaches Association Mira's Sports & More Baseball Classic.
In the final game of the night Friday, the Robstown Cottonpickers got clawed by the Carroll Tigers, 15-3, at Cabaniss Field in five innings.
"Every time we played them it has been tight, and we expected that kind of a game," said Carroll head coach Lee Yeager. "Our guys came out ready to hit and we scored some runs early and they were unable to complete the small ball game."
Robstown pitcher Chris Contreras had a rough outing, going 3 1/3 innings and giving up nine runs on just six hits. Six of those runs came in the top of the fourth inning alone.
"You want to see pitchers under pressure to see how mentally prepared these kids are," said Robstown coach Steve Castro. "We have a few more non-district games left to see what we can do before district starts."
With the Tigers already up 3-1, left fielder Aaron Williams was first to bat, taking Contreras deep for a solo home run on the first pitch.
Dustin Groham was next to bat and struck out swinging, but Robstown catcher David Rodriguez lost the ball as Groham advanced to first safely.
With only one out and runners at second and third, Carroll centerfielder Mark Blackmar hit an RBI blooper to left-center field, bringing in Groham.
Catcher Zack Luevanos followed up with another RBI-single for the Tigers.
With runners on second and third, third baseman Jeremy Narvaez lived up to his position as clean up hitter with a three-run homerun, giving Carroll a 9-1 lead and ending Contreras' stay on the mound for Robstown.
Reliever John Juarez provided little relief as one more run was scored on an RBI-single from Groham on his second time at bat in the fourth inning.
Altogether, Contreras and Juarez faced 12 batters, giving up seven runs on six hits.
The Tigers were up 10-1 after the top of the fourth.
"You fall behind against a good team like Carroll, you have to tell your players not to get down on themselves," Castro said. "We need to continue to stay positive and not look back on the bad and focus on the good."
Carroll went on to lose in the third place game the next day to the Moody Trojans, 9-2.
Moody lost its first game of the season Saturday to the Ray Texans, who went on to win the tournament after defeating the Corpus Christi King Mustangs, 14-6, Saturday night.
"[Corpus Christi] and the rest of the area schools are really good," Yeager said. "It feels nice that four of the five schools representing us in the (semifinals of the) tournament are from Corpus Christi."
The Cottonpickers play in their final tournament of the season this weekend as they head to Brenham.