Sports

THE FIELD … ON THE FIELD … ON THE FIELD by Brandon C. Williams

Today, Wednesday:
Tonight’s finale of the three-game series against Texas Rangers will see the Astros handing Brad Peacock the ball when first pitch commences at 7:05pm. Peacock lost his previous start when he allowed four runs on seven hits over three innings in last Friday’s setback to Los Angeles Angels, dropping his record to 3-1 on the season with an ERA of 3.15. The Rangers will counter with Andrew Cashner, who is 3-5 this year with a 3.17 ERA after he allowed just one run over seven innings in Texas’ win at Washington Nationals this past Friday. The game will be televised live on Root Sports.

Tomorrow, Thursday:
Today marks the final day of mandatory minicamp for the Texans, completing the three-day session before players get time off prior to the start of training camp next month. While the team will have some open practices in Houston in August, the franchise will hold training camp out of town for the first time in franchise history when they travel to The Greenbriar in Sulphur Springs, WV.
A key factor in going away from Houston for camp is that average August temperatures in Sulphur Springs is 82 degrees, a stark contrast to the 94-degree average in Houston during both July and August. The Texans will announce in the near future as to when local area fans can see Texas City native D’Onta Foreman in his first training camp with the franchise once the team returns home.

Friday:
In what could be a potential playoff matchup in October, Boston Red Sox visit Minute Maid for a the first of a weekend set beginning at 7:05pm. Houston will put Mike Fiers on the mound after he had his best outing of the season this past Saturday when he allowed an unearned run on two hits over 7.1 innings in a win over the Angels. Fiers is now 4-2 with a 4.29 ERA this season and will be countered by Drew Pomeranz, who is 6-4 with a 4.48 ERA after giving up five earned runs in 4.1 innings in this past Sunday night’s loss to Detroit Tigers. The game will be televised live on Root Sports.

Saturday:
As part of their Father’s Day Weekend promotion, the Astros will hand out gym bags presented by Houston Methodist to the first 10,000 fans for the 7:05pm contest against the Red Sox. While Boston is scheduled to pitch Rick Porcello, the reigning American League Cy Young award winner who has a 3-8 record this season, Houston has not given an indication as to who will get the start for them. Rookie David Paulino is scheduled, yet the team may bring back ace hurler Dallas Keuchel, who is currently on the disabled list with a neck injury. If Keuchel isn’t ready to pitch, the Astros may also consider bringing back Charlie Morton off the DL. The game will be televised on Root Sports.

THE FIELD … ON THE FIELD … ON THE FIELD by Brandon C. Williams

Today, Sunday:
Rookie David Paulino makes his first home start as an Astro when he takes the mound in the series finale against Los Angeles Angels beginning at 1:10pm. The appearance may be the last for Paulino, who has a 4.66 ERA in three games since being called up near the end of last month, as Joe Musgrove is slated to return from the disabled list no later than Monday and will go back to his role in the starting rotation. Paulino will head back to Triple-A in order to allow the top-end prospect time to continue developing as a potential staff ace.The Angels will counter with Jesse Chavez, who earned his fifth win of the season by going 5.2 innings against Detroit Tigers on this past Tuesday. Chavez has an overall record of 5-6 with an ERA of 4.56.

Tomorrow, Monday:
Area fans hungry for a taste of football can come to Stingaree Stadium at 6:00pm where Hitchcock, La Marque, Santa Fe and Texas City will compete in round robin 7on7 play. The four teams will play each Monday this month in preparation for next month’s state tournament in College Station. Entering this weekend, only Hitchcock was assured a berth in the tourney with only two weekends of qualifiers remaining for the other three to join the Bulldogs. Attendance is free.

The Astros will have a chance to further bury in-state rival Texas Rangers deeper behind in the American League West race when the two teams meet at Minute Maid Park beginning at 7:10pm. The aforementioned Musgrove will make his first start since May 26 when he brings his 4-4 record and 4.89 ERA to the bump against Rangers ace Yu Darvish, who comes into the game with a mark of 5-4 and a 3.18 ERA. After being manhandled by the Rangers the last three seasons, the Astros have turned the tables, having won six of the first seven meetings this year.

Tuesday:

With Dallas Keuchel back on the disabled list, the title of staff ace goes to Lance McCullers, who goes for the Astros against the Rangers beginning at 7:10pm. McCullers is 6-1 with a 2.58 ERA and is a three-game stretch where he has struck out 24 batters in 17.1 innings of work. Texas will counter with Nick Martinez, who is expected to return to the rotation after struggling to the tune of a 5.24 ERA in his first eight starts. He was banished to the bullpen but with the Rangers in need of pitching help, Martinez has found himself back to starting.

By Brandon C. Williams

A HANDFUL of area high school athletes have recently signed letters of intent to play their respective sports at the collegiate level.
Dickinson’s Ashley Richard, who earned honorable mention accolades on the all 24-6A girls soccer team, committed to playing her college ball at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala. on an academic/athletic scholarship. Ricard was one of the district’s top defenders and recently graduated from Dickinson after playing three seasons on the Gators’ varsity team.
Two members of the Texas City boys soccer team also committed to play on the next level. Defender Ed Moninghoff, who was a first team all 23-5a member, signed with Schreiner University in Kerrville while Eric Ramirez, who was also a first team all-district selection, will continue playing soccer at York College in Nebraska.

By Brandon C. Williams

SANTA FE’S successful softball program can proudly say the Indians have an All-American lady.
Former Santa Fe star Aubrey Hockenberry was recently named to the NAIA softball All-American first team as the University of Houston-Victoria utility player ranked in among the nation’s top 25 players in seven different categories after helping lead her team to a 33-19 record and a second-place finish in the Red River Athletic Conference. Hockenberry became the tenth Jaguars player to be named to the All-American team since 2009 and the first since 2014.
The UH-Victoria slugger hit .396 with a school record-tying 15 homers, 56 runs batted in to go along with a .461 on base percentage and a .779 slugging percentage. Hockenberry finished tenth in the nation in homers, 11th in home runs per game, 18th in slugging percentage, 21st in total runs batted in, 24th in total bases and 25th in both RBI per game and total bases per game.

On The Field by Brandon C. Williams
Today, Wednesday:
Dallas Keuchel gets the chance to become the first ten-win pitcher in the majors when he takes the mound for the Astros at Kansas City Royals beginning at 7:15pm. Houston’s ace has yet to taste defeat this season and leads the American League in wins, innings and ERA while also not allowing more two runs in each of his last five starts. Keuchel will be opposed by Jason Vargas, who is in the midst of the best start of his career. The 34-year-old Vargas is 7-3 and is second behind Keuchel in both wins and ERA and comes off a complete game shutout of Cleveland Indians in his last start this past Friday. The game can be seen live on Root Sports
Game Three of the NBA Finals tips off just after 8:00pm with defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers trailing Golden State Warriors 2-0. The Cavs do offer a local connection as former Galveston Ball star and 11-year NBA veteran Damon Jones currently serves as a shooting consultant for Cleveland. Jones recently became part of a viral video in where he defeated LeBron James in a game of HORSE.

Tomorrow, Thursday:
The Astros close out their road trip with a 7:15pm date against the Royals that can been seen live on Root Sports. Curveball specialist Lance McCullers takes his 6-1 record and 2.71 ERA to the bump when he faces savvy veteran hurler Jason Hammel. McCullers’ curve has been solid in his last two starts, as he has recorded 16 strikeouts over 10.1 innings of work. He comes a shaky outing against the Rangers last Saturday when he threw 96 pitches and failed to get out of the fifth inning. Hammel comes into the game with a 2-6 record and 5.93 ERA and has allowed at least four or more runs in five of his last ten starts.

Friday:
Barely unpacked, the Astros return home for a nine-game homestand that begins with Los Angeles Angels beginning at 7:10pm. Brad Peacock looks to keep his 3-0 record intact as the fill-in for injured Joe Musgrove takes the mound for Houston against Matt Shoemaker, who comes into the game with a 2-5 record. Houston entered the week 25 games over .500, the earliest a team has done so since 2001 Seattle Mariners. The Astros were also on pace to tie the major league record with 116 wins, a mark shared by the ‘01 Mariners and 1906 Chicago Cubs.

Saturday:
The Astros will have an early start when they face the Angels at 3:10pm. Mike Fiers and his 2-2 record goes to the mound for Houston and will be opposed by 2-6 Ricky Nolasco. Following the game, the Astros will present Faith and Family Night, presented by Chick-Fil-A. Greenville-based Christian rock group Mercy Me will perform songs off their new record, “Lifer,” which is currently atop the Billboard Christian album charts.