SAN JUAN — La Joya High entered Tuesday night’s road game against PSJA High with an opportunity to win the District 31-6A championship.
The Coyotes left with the crown after seven innings as they took down PSJA 9-4 in a matchup of the top two teams in District 31-6A.
“It was a long time coming, but I’m very proud of my guys. They’ve been fighting all year, even from last year since it got cut short, so I’m very proud of them,” La Joya head coach Mario Flores said.
La Joya also improved to 14-0 on the year, while the district title is the program’s first since 2017.
“It feels really good. It’s been a while since we won it, and to be undefeated, it feels real good to bring this one back to La Joya,” Coyotes pitcher Angel Solis said.
La Joya wasted little time scoring three runs during each of the first two innings to take a 6-0 lead.
The Bears answered back with a three-run second inning of their own to cut the lead in half.
Solis, who started at pitcher for the Coyotes, was able to lock in after surrendering three runs and limit the damage from a dangerous PSJA lineup.
“I think when we hit adversity, I think Angel buckled down. We’ve been saying we need to win every inning, and we did that, so I’m proud of them,” Flores said.
Solis finished with five strikeouts, four hits and four earned runs in six innings, while also delivering a 2-for-3 day at the plate with two RBIs and one walk.
After La Joya added three runs during the top of the seventh thanks to a JR Ramos two-run single, Coyotes ace JC Gutierrez, a Texas Tech commit, came in to seal the deal.
He ended things by forcing a pair of groundouts and notching one strikeout, securing the District 31-6A championship for the Coyotes.
“The mentality was everyone up, no one gets down. We all have to be on fire and pick each other up,” Gutierrez said. “That’s what we had to do, and mentally, we were on.”
PSJA High’s Marty Gamboa finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs and one walk.
On deck for the Coyotes is a District 31-6A rivalry game against La Joya Juarez-Lincoln set for 7 p.m. Friday. La Joya High hopes to keep its perfect record intact.
“It’s been amazing. We have a good, talented group of players and we all came together and no one was being selfish,” Gutierrez said. “We all came through and here we are still undefeated.
Meanwhile, the PSJA Bears will look to bounce back with a road game against Edinburg North set for 7 p.m. Friday.