• Edna pitcher Jaykub Reyes fires a pitch against Columbus High School.
  • Edna's Braylen Harris dives safely back to first as the Columbus first baseman awaits the pickoff attempt.
  • Edna shortstop Braylen Harris tags a Columbus baserunner to record the final out of the game as Edna upset the Cardinals, 3-2.
  • Edna catcher Whit Martin watches as a Columbus batter fouls off a pitch during the sixth inning of Tuesday's game.

Edna upsets Columbus, 3-2

By Beth Foley

Staff Writer


     Braylen Harris knew.

     The junior shortstop felt the confidence in the dugout and on the field and knew his Edna Cowboys were going to show up against District 25-3A leader Columbus, ranked 11th in the state in the Diamond Pro/THSB poll.

     Cowboys coach Ryan Guerrero knew, too.

     And when Edna upset the Cardinals, 3-2, Tuesday night at Shelby Park, neither one was surprised.

     “I feel like we came in confident,” Harris said. “Going into practice yesterday, (we) had a smooth practice, and staying confident the whole time, getting the job done today.”

     The Cowboys improved to 5-7 in district and kept themselves squarely in contention for the final district playoff spot.

     “I’ve been telling these guys all year that we have the talent to play with anybody,” Guerrero said. “We’ve played with Hallettsville and played with Industrial, and those teams are up there in the state.

     “I’ve been preaching to them every game. Finally, we had a game where they stayed up, even (though) they had a kid that was on there, that was throwing gas, and he was pretty good, but we persevered, and we stayed up the whole time and we got some runs.”

     Edna senior pitcher Jaykub Reyes allowed two runs on four hits, a walk, and an error. He faced five batters over the minimum 21 in seven innings, striking out eight. Reyes and the defensive limited traffic on the basepaths to six baserunners, frustrating a Cardinals’ offense averaging 7.48 runs per game coming into Tuesday’s game.

     “Jaykub Reyes threw his butt off,” Guerrero said. “I don’t know how many Ks (strikeouts) he had, but against a team like this he had more than seven and that’s really good, against a (No. 11) team in the state.”

     The first time the teams met this season on March 22, Columbus rolled to a 10-0 win.

     Not this time.

     Edna snapped the Cardinals’ 10-game win streak by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

     Harris and centerfielder Ryland Slusher led off with consecutive singles to put runners on, and following a strikeout, Reyes drove them in with a single to left.

     The Cardinals picked up a run in the top of the second when senior third baseman Trevor Berger reached on an error, advancd to third on another error, and later scored, trimming the lead to 2-1.

     Columbus pitcher James Janak settled in, sending the Cowboys down in order in the second inning, but Harris drew a walk to lead off the third inning and stole second. After a pair of strikeouts, Cardinals coach Kyle Bludau opted not to pitch to Reyes, issuing an intentional walk and giving his defense an option for a force out again with runners at first and second, but Janak made the decision a moot point by getting out of the inning with another strikeout.

     Columbus tied the game with a run in the top of the fourth inning on a pair of singles to left field, but Reyes shut the door, getting three strikeouts and allowing only a walk the rest of the game.

     The Cowboys broke the tie with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

     Harris drew a one-out walk, advanced to second and third on wild pitches, then scored when second baseman Brady Peters singled to center field.

     Harris’s defense, his patience at the plate and his speed on the basepaths provided a huge spark, Guerrero said.

     “When he leads off the game with a hit, he’s a spark plug,” Guerrero said. “He’s all the energy we need. When he starts off good, everybody on the team starts off good.

     “He brings that energy. He’s up, he gets everybody up that whole game. He was making things happen on the bases.”

     The team energy level has been surging the past couple of games, he said, including in the loss at Industrial, where Edna had turned a triple play and built a 4-0 before the Cobras took control.

     “Even though we lost it was the best we’ve played the whole year,” Guerrero said. “They carried it over to this game. Even though we didn’t get the hits that we wanted to, it was timely hitting. That last game, we left 13 guys on, didn’t get them in. This time we got some in and Jaykub pitched a pretty good game, kept us in the game, got us a win at the end.”

     Harris said he thought the Cardinals probably overlooked Edna, based on records and their previous meeting.

     “I was just saying, they’re probably going to think bad about us because we’re lower in the district, but we just came out here and gave it to them, really,” Harris said.

Jackson County Herald Tribune

306 N. Wells
Edna, TX 77957