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Brandon C Williams

ON THE FIELD by Brandon C. Williams

Today, Wednesday:
The Astros will have rookie David Paulino on the mound when they face Oakland Athletics in the third of a four-game series at Minute Maid Park beginning at 7:10pm. Despite a 5.04 ERA, Paulino is 2-0 in his brief career and will be making just his sixth start in the majors. He won his last start at Oakland this past Thursday, allowing three runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings while striking out six. The A’s counter with Jesse Hahn, who comes into the game with a 3-5 record and 4.02 ERA. Hahn was the losing pitcher against Paulino and was knocked out after two-plus innings with nine runs and ten hits credited against him. The game will be televised live on Root Sports.
Tomorrow, Thursday:
The unofficial start of the 2017 high school football season begins in College Station with the annual adidas Texas 7on7 state tournament. Hitchcock, one of three area teams that qualified for the event, will take part in Division II play that begins in the morning. The Bulldogs advanced to the Division II quarterfinals last year and will look to build upon the success in hopes of playing in the championship game on Friday afternoon.

It’s a good day to cut work and watch baseball as the Astros conclude their series against the A’s beginning at 1:10pm. Brad Peacock gets the start for the hometown team in search of improving his record of 4-1 and 2.82 ERA. He has been stellar in his last two starts, allowing just two runs over 10.1 innings of work that included a win over the Athletics on June 19. Jharel Cotton, who is 5-7 with a 5.02 ERA, starts for Oakland and is coming off one of his best outings of the season that saw him hold Chicago White Sox to three hits over five innings of shutout to get the win this past Friday.
Division I play in the adidas Texas 7on7 state tournament begins as Clear Brook and Dickinson seek to reach Saturday’s championship game in a 64-team field that features a host of elite programs in both class 5a and 6a. The Gators advanced to the state finals last year, losing to The Woodlands squad that eventually played in the class 6a, division I state championship game. Fans looking to go out to the tournament should be advised that temperatures will be hot, with the heat index expected to easily cross the 100-degree barrier.

The Astros welcome New York Yankees for a weekend set that starts at 7:10pm. Lance McCullers takes the bump for the Astros and will look for his eighth win of the season against one loss. McCullers will take the role of ace of the staff until Dallas Keuchel returns from his neck injury shortly after the All-Star break. Michael Pineda, 7-4 on the season, gets the call from the Pinstripes. The game will be televised on Root Sports, but those in attendance will get to watch the Friday night fireworks show shortly after the game.
Rookie Frances Martes will start for the Astros in the second game of the series against the Yankees, which begins at 6:15pm. Martes is 2-0 on the season with a 5.59 ERA. He will be opposed by fellow rookie Jordan Montgomery, who comes into the contest with a 5-4 record with a 3.74 ERA. The game will be televised on Root Sports.

By Brandon C. Williams

LA MARQUE’S passionate base of football fans will have ample opportunities to stay home as the Cougars will have six games at Etheredge Stadium during the upcoming football season.
Coach Mike Jackson’s team, which finished 8-3 last season and lost in the class 3a, region III, division I bi-district round, will open the regular season on the road at Houston Sterling on August 31 beginning at 7:00pm. It will be the last road game for La Marque, who will be at home for the entire month of September starting with a visit from Pro Vision Academy at 7:30pm on September 7. The Cougars will play their first Friday night game of the season at 7:30pm on September 15 when they take on a Houston North Forest team that is considered one of the contenders to capture the class 4a, region III title and came within a play of defeating La Marque last season.
The Cougars will get a chance to avenge one of their two losses in regular season play when Columbia comes to Etheredge Stadium on September 22 beginning at 7:30pm. The team will close out the month on September 29 with a game against Hardin-Jefferson at 7:30pm.
Following an open week on October 6, La Marque will begin district 12-3a-1 play when they travel to Hardin with a 7:30pm kickoff on October 13. The team will celebrate Homecoming on October 20 when they welcome Anahuac at 7:30pm before hitting the road again for a 7:30pm date for an October 27 showdown at East Chambers. La Marque then returns home to meet Hempstead at 7:30pm on November 3 and will close out the regular season the following Friday when they visit Hitchcock for the first time to take on the rival Bulldogs beginning at 7:30pm.
La Marque returns 17 starters from last year’s team, including all-district running back Perry Preston and all-district defensive lineman Marlon Ford. After being knocked out of the first round of the postseason for the first time since 1985, the Cougars, in the words of Jackson, are “cautiously optimistic” about getting past the regional quarterfinal for the first time since 2012.
Fall practice for the Coogs begins on August 7.

By Brandon C. Williams

DICKINSON high school boys basketball coach Jason Wilson has three more seasons of Tramon Mark. Wilson will also have three more seasons of college scouts clamoring into The Swamp on Tuesdays and Fridays to see one of the nation’s best underclassmen.
Mark was named to ESPN.com’s top 25 boys basketball players for the Class of 2020 this past week, ranking 22nd overall and one of only two players in the state of Texas to make the prestigious list. The incoming sophomore already has an offer from TCU, yet will see his mailbox fill up as more colleges begin to zero in on Mark.
One of the key components to Dickinson’s run to district 24-6a regular season title, Mark finished with 15.1 points per game to go along with 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. He was named the district’s top newcomer and was named to the 24-6a first team. His freshman success came after being named to the National Youth Basketball League first team and leading McAdams junior high school to consecutive district championships.
Mark’s style of play has been compared to former Houston area youth hoops standout De’Aaron Fox, who was the fifth overall selection of Sacramento Kings in this past Thursday’s NBA draft following a year of playing at University of Kentucky.
He is also among four area players who made the Class of 2020 watch list of RCSSports.com, one of the state’s premier basketball scouting sites. Mark was joined on the list by fellow Dickinson teammate Deuce Guidry, while Clear Springs’ Jalen White and La Marque’s Jordan Curry.

By Brandon C. Williams

GALVESTON County’s second prospect in Philadelphia Phillies organization is working his way into the eyes of the franchise’s scouts while also recently earning a promotion.
Friendswood graduate Will Hibbs was moved up to the franchise’s High-A team in Clearwater (Fla.) this past Thursday after dominating hitters in A-ball at Lakewood (Fla.). Hibbs had a 5-1 record with an ERA of 0.98 in 21 appearances for the Blue Claws while recording a save in nine of his ten opportunities.
Hibbs struck out 38 batters in 36.2 innings and limited opposing hitters to an .092 batting average. The move brings the 6-7, 245-pound hurler one step closer to the majors after being drafted by Philadelphia in the 19th round of the 2016 draft. Hibbs, who was a starter in college at Lamar University, was moved to a relief role shortly after being selected and began his transition in short-season ball with Williamsport (PA) Crosscutters, where he had nine saves and a 1.44 ERA in 19 appearances.
Should Hibbs eventually receive the call to the majors, he would be the second Friendswood high school player to do so, joining relief pitcher Scott Williamson, who played nine seasons in the bigs from 1997-2011 with five different teams. Williamson was part of the 2004 Boston Red Sox team that won its first World Series title since 1918.
Meanwhile, Galveston’s Nick Williams continues his push for a potential call-up, as he entered the weekend hitting .275 with 14 homers and 42 RBI for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Williams, the fourth-rated prospect, will likely be brought up as the Phillies entered the weekend with a 23-48 record that is the worst in the majors.

FISHING FORECAST by Brandon C. Williams

Weather or not, it’s good stretch for fishing

WEST GALVESTON Bay and Texas City are two of the hottest spots for fishing during what will be a wet and humid stretch of weather in the area. The threat of storms on today, Sunday, and Monday may enhance the number of fish running, so those anglers willing to brave out the rain could have a nice payoff.

North Sabine: Redfish are good under rafts of shad on Gulps. Redfish are fair to good at the mouths of bayous draining from the marsh.

South Sabine: Trout are fair at the jetty on live bait and topwaters. Flounder are fair on live bait at the mouths of bayous. Trout and redfish are good under the birds.
Bolivar: Trout are fair on the south shoreline on topwaters and soft plastics. Trout, sand trout and croakers are fair to good at Rollover Pass on live bait.
Trinity Bay: Trout are fair to good over deep shell and well pads on Down South Lures and Lil’ Johns. Trout, redfish and croaker are fair at the spillway on live bait.
East Galveston Bay: Trout are fair to good for drifters working deep shell on limetreuse and plum plastics Gamblers, Down South Lures and Lil’ Johns. Trout are fair on live bait around the Ship Channel.
West Galveston Bay: Sheepshead, redfish and black drum are fair at the jetty on shrimp and crabs. Trout and redfish are fair to good at the mouth of bayous on the outgoing tide on live shrimp. Red snapper and kingfish are good offshore.

Texas City: Trout are fair to good on the reefs and in the channel on live shrimp and croakers. Redfish and sand trout are fair to good in Moses Lake on shrimp. Trout are fair to good at Dollar Reef on live bait.
Freeport: Trout are fair at San Luis Pass on shrimp, MirrOlures and soft plastics. Trout, redfish, sand trout and sheepshead are good on live shrimp on the reefs in Christmas Bay and Chocolate Bay.
East Matagorda Bay: Trout are fair to good for drifters on live shrimp over mid–bay reefs. Redfish are fair in the middle of the bay on live shrimp near slicks.
West Matagorda Bay: Trout are fair on sand and grass on soft plastics, topwaters and live croakers. Redfish are fair in the back reaches of the bay on mud and shell on live shrimp.