EDINBURG — The Edinburg Vela SaberCats handed the ball to senior Jaime Perez Jr. for their District 31-6A finale against Mission High on Friday.
Perez, who was making his first appearance on the mound this season, delivered for the SaberCats by allowing just one hit and one run while striking out seven over five innings in a 6-2 win at Vela High School.
“It’s been a while, but I just wanted to go out there, give us a chance and go compete. Coach told me, ‘If you give us a chance, we’ll come out with a ‘W,’” Perez said. “It was a good team win overall. I felt I could have done better on the mound, but the guys got my back. We hit the ball good, got some timely hits and got the ‘dub.’”
Perez also started the fire at the plate for the SaberCats (14-3, 13-3) as their leadoff hitter. His first at-bat resulted in a double to right field. With three runners on during the bottom of the second, Perez blasted a base-clearing double to right to give Vela a 3-1 lead.
“He gave us a chance tonight. … We knew they had a little thunder, but I knew with his breaking ball, he’s just a big-time competitor,” Vela baseball head coach Jaime Perez Sr. said of his son. “He competes in everything that he does, and what more could you ask for? Even though he is my son, it is what it is. I know that guy, he’s a straight up gamer. When he puts the No. 5 on, it’s business time and he does a good job of that.”
Vela picked up one RBI apiece from James Canning, Bobby Garcia and Ivan Mendoza. David White also added two scoreless innings and two strikeouts to close the game.
The SaberCats are now a half game ahead of PSJA High (13-3, 12-3) for second in the 31-6A standings. If the Bears beat Edinburg High on Tuesday, it creates a tie for the district’s second seed as Vela and PSJA split their season series.
With their District 31-6A schedule in the books, the SaberCats will look to stay busy with non-district games leading up to the Class 6A playoffs, which begin the week of May 8. Edinburg Vela is scheduled to host Lyford at 1 p.m. today.
Meanwhile, the Mission Eagles are set to close out district play with a home game against PSJA North at 7 p.m. Tuesday.