Javier Vela makes a play on a short ground ball before flipping back to first base for an out.

The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate baseball team defeated the West Columbia Roughnecks in two games, 10-0 Friday, May 6 and 8-1 Saturday, May 7, to advance to the area round playoffs for the first time since 2015.

RFHS is now 21-8 overall.

After two postseason berths since 2015, resulting in first round exits, the Pirates have had to wait a long time to make it out of the bi-district round.

RFHS Head Coach Tudi Elizondo said the team is ecstatic to still be playing baseball.

“We’re excited. Kids are excited. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten out of the first round,” said Elizondo. “Last year we lost both games in our series with Needville and our goal this year was to get past the first round and win a playoff game. We did that, and now it’s on to round two.”

West Columbia brought in only one run in their series with RFHS. Conversely, the Pirates were on a roll offensively in both games.

In game one, RFHS had 14 hits and scored 10 runs in five innings to run-rule the Roughnecks.

RFHS scored one run each in the first three innings, and then brought in six runs in the fourth and one in the fifth inning to end it in five.

Luke Muirhead pitched all five inning and allowed two hits with eight strikeouts. He was also 2-4 with two RBI.

Both Trent Upham and Isaiah Eliznodo were 3-3 at the plate with one RBI. I. Elizondo was also walked once and scored twice.

Ean McPherson was 1-2 with two RBI.

Ace Seibert and Javier Vela were both 1-2 with one RBI.

In game two, the Pirates racked up 11 more hits, but played a full seven innings this time at West Columbia.

The Pirates used those 11 hits for eight runs. West Columbia had nine hits, but could only bring in one run.

Carsen Flores pitched all seven innings, giving up only one run and striking out three.

Flores said his defense came up with several clutch plays to end what could have been big rallies for the Roughnecks.

“I thought I did good (on the mound), I thought I stayed within myself and not try to make big pitches that I couldn’t make and the defense came up big,” said Flores. “Isaiah (Elizondo) had a diving play at third and Trent (Upham) had a diving play at first.”

I. Elizondo said the team is enjoying it and having a lot of fun right now.

“The atmosphere is amazing right now. Our fans are great, everyone’s into it, we’ve got our (celebration) hats on and we’re going to keep rolling,” said I. Elizondo.

Flores was confident after their game two victory that the team can sustain its level of play as of late.

“If we keep rolling the way we are and just stay in our own mentality, the job’s not finished and we’re going to go far,” said Flores.

In the game two victory, Jordan Gibson led RFHS at the plate, going 3-5 with one RBI.

Upham was 2-4 with one RBI.

McPherson was 2-4 with one RBI and a score.

Devan Phillips was 1-1 with one RBI, a walk, and two scores.

The Pirates will play San Antonio Davenport in the area round in a best-of-three series. All games will be played at a neutral site at Three Rivers High School.

Game one is 7 p.m. Friday, May 13, game two is 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, and game three, if needed, will follow 30 minutes after game two.

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