By Elizabeth Vega
With only four more opponents left to face this season, the El Paso Community College Tejanos baseball team are still striving to be one of the four teams in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference to make playoffs.
This weekend was a setback for the squad, as they were swept by Frank Phillips College in a four-game series.
The Tejanos went down 6-3 and 12-1 on Friday, and 8-2, 8-3 on Saturday.
Yvonne Del Rio / Tejano Tribune
Tejano infielder Ryan Pouwells battles at the plate against University of the Southwest.
The team is now 5-15 in conference play, sitting in last place.
“I can’t take anything away from Frank Phillips, they came and played well,” Tejanos head coach Dominic Bouvier said. “We competed with them and pitched well, but we weren’t hitting and we made some defensive mistakes.
"If you eliminate those mistakes and change a couple of things, it would have been a different outcome.”
While the Tejanos have dug themselves into a hole, Bouvier said the team just has to get back on track.
“As far as our playoff hopes go, one thing depends on how everyone else [in the conference] does,” he said. “For us, we just have to get back to playing our game.”
Although the Tejanos jumped to an early lead in Game 1 and kept the Plainsmen scoreless for three innings, too many EPCC men were left on the bases, missing key scoring opportunities for the Tejanos.
“We’re a little down on ourselves due to the fact that we know we’re a top tier team in the conference, we just don’t show up mentally prepared on game days,” Tejanos pitcher Russell Reber said.
“For us to bounce back, we are really going to have to do it mentally because physically, we are always the better team on the field.”
With only one win in the last eight games, Reber said the team is working harder in practice to get themselves out of the rut.
He said the team just needs to “get hot and stay hot.”
“We’re past the whole ‘one game at a time,’” Reber said. “Right now, we need to win them all and, in baseball, that’s a tough position to be in.
It’s all about how we come back after the weekend we just had. Somethings did not go our way, that’s baseball.
The only thing we can do is go out the next day with a short memory and play.”
The Tejanos will travel to Midland to face-off against a 14-6 Midland College squad this weekend.
The Chaparrals are currently in third place in WJCAC conference standings.
“All I know about them [Midland] is that they are a decent ball club,” Reber said. “They could be beaten if they are out worked.”
First pitch is at noon for both Friday and Saturday’s twinbill.