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Vipers take bi-district show on the road to San Antonio

By MIKE FORMAN
May 7, 2010 at 12:07 a.m.

Memorial's Tanner Austin had two hits in Thursday's win against San Antonio Clark.

Memorial Vipers vs. San Antonio Clark CougarsClass 5A Bi-District

Game 1: Memorial 10, Clark 0

Game 2: Saturday, 2 p.m., San Antonio Northside #2

Game 3, if necessary: 30 minutes after Game 2

Memorial third baseman Matt Longoria had a brief conversation with pitcher Jordan Pacheco before the Vipers opened their best-of-three game Class 5A bi-district playoff series against San Antonio Clark on Thursday night at Riverside Stadium.

"I was talking to Jordan while he was on the mound and I told him it's just another game, don't worry about anything," Longoria said. "The playoffs are the playoffs. I said just go out there and pitch your game and get a win."

Pacheco pitched a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Memorial captured a 10-0 win in a game stopped in the bottom of the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

The Vipers improved to 19-12-1 and will attempt to wrap up the series when they travel to San Antonio Northside Field #2 for Game 2 on Saturday at 2 p.m.

If the Cougars (16-13) win, Game 3 will be played 30 minutes after Game 2.

"Everybody was real relaxed we all took it in the right manner," said Tanner Austin, who had two hits and two RBI. "But we know we haven't won anything yet. We have to take it just like Game 1 and go out there and play hard."

The Vipers had seven hits and scored in every inning but the first against Clark left-hander Ryan Skowronski and two relievers.

"If we play the way we did and we come out and hit the ball like we did we don't care if it's a lefty or a righty," Longoria said, " we're going to hit the ball hard and we're going to hit it solid."

Memorial is certain to face Clark ace Vince Salazar in Game 2. Salazar, a left-hander, has a 7-1 record with a 1.45 ERA and has 79 strikeouts in 48.1 innings.

"Just because we scored 10 runs on them doesn't mean we're going to do that again," Pacheco said. "They're going to throw their No. 1 pitcher so he's not going to let us score 10 runs."

The Vipers are expected to start sophomore pitcher Miles Manning (2-2) and Longoria will be available in relief.

"We've got to play error-free," Memorial coach Manuel Alvarado said. "We need to go up there and keep swinging the bat and playing behind our pitching and get our pitchers some runs."

The Vipers went 4-3 on the road during District 27-5A play and know they'll have to perform better to win the series.

"We're not going to be on our home field and their crowd is probably going to be bigger than ours," Longoria said. "We just need to go out there and play Viper baseball."

NOTES: The Memorial-San Antonio Clark winner will play the winner of the Austin High-San Antonio Churchill series that began Friday in the area round.

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