Briley Alexander wearing No. 1 is just a coincidence. It’s a number he’s worn since he was little, but was fitting for the leadoff hitter.
The future Air Force punter/kicker scored three runs to help Monterey beat Coronado 5-3 Friday night at Hays Field and sweep the Region I-5A quarterfinal series in two games.
Monterey (26-12) moves on to play Lake Dallas in the regional semifinals. In similar fashion, Lake Dallas swept No. 5 Burleson Centennial to earn its regional semifinal bid.
Coronado ends its season with a 22-17 record.
“You never want to end it that way, but that’s just athletics. It’s going to happen,” Mustangs coach Gary Hix said.
The two teams met on the 25th anniversary of a 1994 Coronado-Monterey regional-championship series that Monterey won.
The last time the Plainsmen made that deep of a postseason run in recent times was in 2014.
The team got its wheels going early with a 3-1 lead over the first four innings, two of which were scored by Alexander. He scored on Bobby Roberts’ single in the first inning, then made it a 2-1 game on Matt Slowik’s double in the third.
“To get that fiery start means everything,” Alexander said. “It keeps the momentum of the game and pushes us forward.”
Alexander, Slowik and Roberts, who collected two RBI, accounted for five of the Plainsmen’s 10 hits and all but one of the runs.
“We talked about coming in the bat and having quality at-bats in the first and stringing some stuff together to score in the first,” Plainsmen coach Kent Meador said. “I’m not a scientist or a scientific guy, but I know if you score first, it does a whole lot for you, so that was big for us today.”
Senior pitcher Jaden Guerrero kept the Mustangs off balance. Guerrero had three strikeouts, issued three walks and gave up eight hits in the complete-game victory.
It was Guerrero's first time to pitch against Coronado this season.
“It was good they haven’t seen him,” Meador said. “You’ve got to dig in and really hit because he really makes you sit back and locate some change of speeds. I’m sure that played a factor in it today.”
Layden White broke through in the bottom of the third for the Mustangs on Landry Watson’s RBI groundout.
Facing a 5-1 deficit in the final inning, the Mustangs put together a two-run inning with RBI singles from Zach Swindell and Charlie Robinson. But the rally came up short after a final tag at third spoiled the comeback bid.
“I just think they did a great job of keeping us off tempo,” Hix said. “We never got comfortable in the box and never really could put anything together. They just always seemed to squelch it. They made all the plays in both games. They made every play they had the opportunity to make and that’s the sign of a good ball club.”
Landry Watson took the loss, giving up five runs on nine hits. He struck out six and walked five in five-plus innings.
REGION I-5A QUARTERFINAL SERIES
at Hays Field
Jaden Guerrero and Jared Perez; Landry Watson, Caleb Torres (6) and Jaxson Edwards. W—Guerrero. L—Watson. 2B—Monterey: Briley Alexander, Matt Slowik, Braden Benton. Coronado: Caden Hensley, Cameron Stevenson. Records: Monterey 26-12, Coronado 22-17.