La Joya, Sharyland, Pioneer near top of statewide rankings

La Joya High has broken into the latest Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association (THSBCA) Poll at No. 10 in the Class 6A rankings, with Sharyland Pioneer holding strong at No. 2 at the Class 5A level.

Meanwhile, in Texas High School Baseball’s most recent Diamond Pro Top 25 polls, the Rio Grande Valley has five teams ranked across each classification with Sharyland High at No. 3 in 5A.

La Joya High (8-0, 8-0) has been under the receiving votes category in the previous three THSBCA polls. That changed Monday as the Coyotes finally earned their way into the Top 10 after a big 7-1 win over PSJA High last Tuesday. Junior left-handed pitcher and Texas Tech commit J.C. Gutierrez (4-0) starred on the mound again for La Joya with a complete game, two-hit, nine strikeout performance against the PSJA Bears.

According to the latest Diamond Pro Class 6A Top 25 Poll, the Coyotes are the No. 13-ranked team in the state.

La Joya is set to host Mission High at 7 tonight before traveling to take on Edinburg Vela at 7 p.m. Friday in Edinburg.

At the Class 5A level, Sharyland Pioneer (17-1, 3-0) is ranked No. 2 in the latest THSBCA poll and No. 4 in the Diamond Pro Class Top 25.

Senior right-handed pitcher David Lopez (5-0) shut down McAllen High for a 5-0 Pioneer win last Tuesday. Lopez racked up 13 strikeouts while scattering seven hits and two walks across 6.1 innings.

Sharyland High (16-1, 3-0) is ranked No. 3 in the Diamond Pro Class 5A Top 25. Senior right-handed pitcher Kike Cienfuegos (5-0) led Sharyland High by throwing a complete game no-hitter against McAllen Rowe in a 9-0 victory last Thursday. Cienfuegos fanned 11 batters and walked just two on 92 pitches to lock up the Rattlers’ third District 31-5A victory.

Sharyland High and crosstown rival Sharyland Pioneer are scheduled to collide at 7 p.m. Friday at Pioneer High School.

No. 18 McAllen High is the RGV’s third team in the Diamond Pro Class 5A Top 25 Poll. The Bulldogs (13-4, 2-1) bounced back from a 5-0 loss to Pioneer with a 9-3 victory over PSJA Memorial last Thursday.

Chris Bernal is batting .400 this season with 14 hits and 12 runs scored for the Bulldogs. Ethan Whatley is hitting .444 with 20 RBIs, while Caleb Killian has added 18 RBIs with a .429 average.

The Bulldogs have games against McAllen Memorial and PSJA Southwest on tap this week.

The Hidalgo Pirates (10-1, 0-0) come in at No. 17 in the latest Diamond Pro Class 4A Top 25 Poll. Hidalgo is set to open District 32-4A action tonight with a home game against Grulla at 6 p.m. at Hidalgo High School.

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