(Castroville) - Seguin baseball heads to Castroville tonight for what amounts to a must-win game against Medina Valley if the Matadors hope to stay alive in the District 26-5A playoff race.
Coach Mark Williams' Seguin club (7-17-1) is 3-7 in district play, tied with Alamo Heights for fifth place, and two games back of the fourth and final playoff berth with four left on the schedule after a 4-1 home loss to Alamo Heights on Tuesday.
Medina Valley (12-6-1) is in the driver's seat to claim that fourth spot with a 5-5 district record, and still has a chance to move up in the standings despite falling to Kerrville-Tivy 6-3 on Tuesday.
A Seguin loss to coach Robert Herb's Panthers would leave the Mats three games back of Medina Valley with three left, and give the Panthers a 2-0 sweep in the head-to-head series. Medina Valley won the first meeting between the teams 8-2 on March 20 at 'Smokey' Joe Williams Field.
Boerne-Champion and Tivy share the 27-3A lead with identical 9-1 district records, while Dripping Springs (7-3) is alone in third place. Lockhart and Marble Falls (both 2-8) linger a game back of Seguin and Alamo Heights at the bottom of the standings.
Seguin and Medina Valley were tied 1-1 after five innings of the March 20 meeting, but the Panthers erupted for seven runs in the top of the sixth to break the game wide open.
Medina Valley's Devin McClusky ultimately got the best of Seguin's Cody Kachmar on the mound last month, but both pitchers started for their respective teams earlier this week, so each lineup will face a different look in tonight's rematch.
The Matadors could turn to Michael Hernandez (0.92 ERA, 30 K), Salvador Trujillo, or Nathan Shepard (2.94 ERA, 23 K), all of whom have been effective in late week starts at various points of the season. Shepard made a brief relief appearance in the sixth inning of the March 20 meeting, allowing four runs on two hits with two hit batters.
Medina Valley's late-week starter has been junior lefty Garrett Leggit. He enters tonight with a 4-1 record, a 1.55 ERA, and 30 strikeouts in 31-2/3 innings of work. Opponents are batting .232 against Leggitt this season.
Seguin's statistial leaders offensively include Eli Edwards with a .424 average, Kachmar, Brendon Burgess, and Tristan Moreno with seven RBIs apiece, Kachmar with 17 runs scored and 12 stolen bases, Burgess and Trujillo with four doubles each, Kendall Harborth with a .563 on-base percentage. Matt Weichold has the team's only home run this season, a solo shot that he just hit on Tuesday against Alamo Heights.
Medina Valley's most productive hitter has been Cole Modgling with a blistering .528 average to go with 15 RBIs, 20 runs, six doubles, a home run, a .609 on-base percentage, and 11 stolen bases. Cole Steubing (.356) is the only other Panther batting beter than .300 in 2018.
Tonight's first pitch in Castroville is slated for 7 p.m. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, with pre-game coverage at 6:45.