Brothers face off for the first time as head coaches
April 24, 2010 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated April 23, 2010 at 11:24 p.m.
Manuel Alvarado has always looked up to his older brother.
He only had to look up from the Memorial dugout to see Santos Alvarado in the third-base coaching box at Riverside Stadium.
"I owe a lot to my brother," Manuel said. "He was my role model growing up and I basically followed in his footsteps. I kind of owe everything to him."
The two squared off as head coaches for the first time Saturday with Manuel's Vipers taking a 14-4 win over Santos' Calhoun team in a non-district game that was stopped after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
"Just seeing my brother on the other side and knowing the kind of competitor he is," Manuel said. "It was a great feeling. I knew it was going to be a pretty good game. It's different when you're coaching against your family. We had to make a rule before the game - no cheating."
The brothers may know each other's signs and tendencies, but it didn't seem to matter as they bantered back and forth throughout the game.
"The atmosphere is a little bit different just knowing that Manuel is on the other end and we can sit and talk and laugh a little bit despite what's going on," Santos said. "It was fun."
Mary and Santos Alvarado Sr. also enjoyed watching their sons and grandson Trey, a freshman who plays first base for the Sandcrabs.
They sported black T-shirts with the logos from both schools and cheered for both teams.
"I love both my kids and I'm going to cheer for both of them," Santos Sr. said. "I told them I was going to sit in the middle and when Calhoun bats, I'll cheer for Calhoun, and when the Vipers bat, I'll cheer for the Vipers."
The Alvarado brothers were coached by their father in Little League before playing high school baseball under Hodie Garcia at Stroman.
Santos pitched for the Raiders before graduating in 1984 and going on to play at Seward Community College in Kansas and Sul Ross State in Alpine.
Manuel played second base on Stroman's 1985 Class 5A state championship team and played at Lubbock Christian and Sul Ross.
"They're both the same," Santos Sr. said. "They are not that much different than each other. They do the same things and they're always together."
Santos spent two years as the head coach at Bloomington and is in his sixth season as the head coach at Calhoun.
Manuel is in his second season as the head coach at Memorial and will become the head coach at Victoria West when the school opens in August.
Garcia, who is currently the head baseball coach at Bloomington, isn't surprised the Alvarados became coaches.
"They were very good players who loved the game of baseball," Garcia said. "They paid the price for their success and they are still doing it. They know know the game and they know what it takes to be successful."
Santos and Manuel acknowledge the role Garcia played in their becoming coaches and their approach to the game.
"He was instrumental getting me to college and making me realize there was something else out there," Manuel said. "My dad putting the game of baseball into us got us out and to where we are now."
"The truth is if it wasn't for coach, I wouldn't be doing the things I'm doing now," Santos agreed. "If it wasn't for him and the support of my mom and dad I wouldn't be doing this. Everything I'm doing is because of coach pushing us and mom and dad being there for us."
The Alvarados gathered for a brief reunion after the game and are already looking forward to next year when the brothers will coach against each other twice as District 30-4A opponents.
"They just love baseball," Santos Sr. said. "I think when they got to high school coach Hodie had a lot to do with their becoming coaches. He showed them a lot and they love the game."
RAIN DELAY: Memorial and Calhoun were scheduled to play in the VISD Tournament last year, but the game was rained out.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Vipers had 11 hits against Calhoun and improved to 17-12-1. Zach Valenzuela and Abel Gonzalez each had two hits.
Trent Winter was the winning pitcher for the Vipers. Winter allowed two hits without allowing an earned run and struck out six in four innings.
Jeremy Urbano, Jake Goyen and Jared Lewis each doubled for Memorial.
Jorge Romero had two hits for the Sandcrabs, who dropped to 11-12.
PLAYOFF SCENARIO: Corpus Christi Carroll clinched the District 27-5A championship with a 15-5 win over Corpus Christi King on Friday night.
Despite its 9-5 loss to Converse Judson, Memorial maintained sole possession of second place and would clinch the second-place playoff berth with a win over San Antonio East Central on Friday night at Riverside Stadium.
If the Vipers finish second, they would likely play San Antonio Clark in the bi-district playoffs.
Memorial 14, Calhoun 4
Calhoun 010 03 - 4 4 3
Memorial 365 0x - 14 11 3
John Garcia, Devean Ureste (2), Zach Cruz (3) and Cody Lee. Trent Winter, Logan Curtis (5) and Nick Cadengo. W: Winter (3-2). L: Garcia. Highlights: (C) Jorge Romero 2-for-3, R. (M) Jeremy Urbano 1-for-1, 2B, 2 R; Jordan Pacheco 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 RBI; Jake Goyen 1-for-1, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Jared Lewis 1-for-2, 2B, R, RBI; Zach Valenzuela 2-for-2 R, RBI, SB; Ethan Hough 1-for-2, RBI, SB; Abel Gonzalez 2-for-3, RBI. Records: Calhoun 11-12; Memorial 17-12-1.