Victoria High, Stroman alumni renew old rivalry
Sept. 28, 2013 at 4:28 a.m.
Richard Delgado wasn't going to acknowledge that nearly three decades have passed since he pitched a shutout for Stroman in the 1985 Class 5A state championship game.
Delgado relaxed in the third-base dugout after the Raiders' 8-7 win over Victoria High in the One More Inning Alumni Baseball Game on Saturday at Riverside Stadium.
"This was just like it used to be," Delgado said.
Delgado was partially right. He did pitch four innings of a game that was tied three times before state championship teammate Billy Tipton recorded the final out with Stingarees on second and third base.
But the gray hair, looser belt buckles, kids in the dugout and the adult beverages being consumed told another story.
"It was fun," said Marcus Rangel, who attended Victoria High before graduating from Memorial in 2002. "You could tell we were out of shape a little bit. We need a little more conditioning. But overall, this was just for the experience. Stroman and Victoria High, we've been rivals forever. We were out here to have a good time."
Manuel Alvarado had an enjoyable and successful day at the plate.
The Victoria West head baseball coach was a member of Stroman's 1985 state championship baseball team, but prior commitments would have kept him from playing last week when the game was originally scheduled.
But when the game got postponed by rain, Alvarado took full advantage.
He went 3 for 4 with a home run and a double. He needed a triple for the cycle before striking out in his final at-bat but admitted he wasn't looking forward to running the bases again.
"I tell you the truth, I was nervous about coming out here and swinging the bat it's been so long since I swung the bat," Alvarado said. "I'm not going to say it's like riding a bike, but it kind of is. I was patient at the plate just trying to get my timing down a little."
Rangel hit a home run for the Stingarees to tie the game at 4 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"It felt great," he said. "I was sitting on an 0-2 count, and I kind of knew he was coming with it, so I just kept way back. I think I even closed my eyes ... not really."
Stroman pushed across four runs in the top of the eighth inning on RBI singles by Dominick Martinez and Dedrick Porter.
Victoria High threatened in the bottom of the ninth before Alvarado recorded the final out on a grounder to second.
The real winner of Saturday's game were the participants, the fans and the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, which received proceeds from the event.
"I saw some of the guys I played with," Alvarado said. "I played with some of the guys I coached at Stroman. It's good to see these guys still active. I'm glad to see they're doing well.
"They took away our high schools," he added. "There's not really anything left for Victoria High and Stroman. But to do stuff like this keeps the memories alive."