By STEVE JACKSON
The Lennard Longhorns baseball season came to an abrupt ending last week. The Longhorns were stymied at the plate, losing to the Osceola Warriors, 2-0, at Seminole. The Warriors plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth in the Region 3 District A playoff and then hung another goose egg on the Longhorns in the top of the seventh inning to advance.
The shutout was the second in a row suffered by the Longhorns, who had lost an opening playoff 1-0 on May 9 to rival Braden River, despite an outstanding mound performance by Lennard senior Eddie Tarrant.
Osceola, now 18-10, later beat Braden River, 5-4, playoff victors over Mitchell. Osceola advanced to the regional finals to face Venice on May 22 with the winner earning a spot in the District 7 final four at Ft. Myers.
In the Osceola loss, Lennard squandered its best scoring threat in the top of the first against southpaw sophomore Cory Braun. For Lennard, three of the first four batters managed hits, but Osceola’s pitcher kept his composure and retired the Longhorns without a run. The Horns stranded 2 more base runners in the third inning and wasted another scoring possibility in the fifth inning when a Lennard runner on third could not reach home. Lennard senior hurler Yazael “YoYo” Nunez had only one bad inning, himself, but it sealed the Longhorns doom and ended their season at 18 wins and 7 losses. Osceloa put together 3 singles in the bottom of the sixth to claim the victory and eliminate the Longhorns. Nunez whiffed 9 batters in six innings of work, and Osceola only had 1 other hit off him in the game.
Under veteran coach Kennedy Duran, the senior-laden Longhorns put together the most successful season in school diamond history. After posting two straight 11-12 seasons, the Longhorns won first place in 2019 conference regular season with an 8-0 district mark and went 18-7 overall.
Senior Yazael Nunez, was selected as first team all conference pitcher. Senior catcher Levi Montero was named second team all conference, as was senior infielder Adrian Munoz. Other seniors playing for the last time at the “corral” were Deuce Waller, Evan Blackwell, Cameron Lassalle, Hayden Hensley, John Tyler, Randy Tavarez, Jordan Rutherford, Alex Williams, and Tarrant.