Refugio erupts late in Game 1 win over Mason
SAN ANTONIO - Jamel LaFond was competing at the state track and field meet last week.
But LaFond got a chance to showcase his baseball ability Thursday night at Jake Inselmann Field.
LaFond faked a bunt and hit a two-run single to ignite a six-run, sixth-inning rally and Refugio went on to a 9-2 win over Mason in Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 2A regional quarterfinal series.
The Bobcats improved to 24-1 and will attempt to wrap up the series when the teams return to Inselmann Field for Game 2 at 7 p.m. Friday.
If the Punchers (18-5-1) win, Game 3 would be 3 p.m. Saturday at Inselmann Field.
"I felt like there was a lot of pressure on us," LaFond said. "I knew if we stuck together, we'd pull it through."
Refugio held a 3-2 lead when LaFond came to the plate with Trent Ross on second base and Sylvester Henderson on first and no outs in the sixth.
He faked a bunt and drove the ball past a charging first baseman Lucas Martin, allowing both runs to score.
"Coach told me to fake it," LaFond said. "And if it was over the plate, just put it in play."
Refugio coach Anthony Quintanilla had confidence that LaFond could execute the play.
LaFond, hitting in the ninth position, went 2-for-3, scored two runs and stole two bases.
"It was a way big hit," Quintanilla said. "I gave him the fake bunt sign, and he took it and went with it. He's not going to amaze you with awesome hits. Every now and then, he's going to hit one right, and it will go out there."
Chris Moya drove in LaFond with his second double of the game before scoring on an error.
Jacobe Avery and D'Mond LaFond hit back-to-back doubles to produce another run, and D'Mond LaFond stole home to complete the scoring.
"To be honest, we got a late start today," Quintanilla said. "We left Refugio late. We got to our hitting facility late and then we got stuck in traffic. It was just a combination of our routine being thrown off from the get-go. Our kids were very off sync until the end and that's when we came on."
D'Mond LaFond started on the mound and struck out nine. But he also yielded four hits and walked five before being replaced by Avery in the seventh inning with is pitch count at 104.
The Bobcats also made three errors and both of the Punchers' runs were unearned.
"We came out and basically screwed up from the get-go," Quintanilla said. "We gave them a free run and some extra bases. With a good team, that's going to eat you up in the end."
The Bobcats will attempt to play better in Game 2 and go for their third straight series sweep.
"We need to stay focused," Jamel LaFond said. "We messed up a lot today, but tomorrow we'll be better."
Refugio 9, Mason 2
Mason 010 001 0 - 2 5 4
Refugio 101 016 x - 9 4 3
W: D'Mond LaFond. L: Emanuel Martinez. Highlights: (M) Ryan Dudney 1-for-2; Lucas Martin 1-for-3. (R) Chris Moya 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 R , 2 RBIs; D. LaFond 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, SB; Jacobe Avery 2-for-4, 2B; Trent Ross 2-for-4, R; Jamel LaFond 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBIs; 2 SB. Records: Mason 18-5-1; Refugio 24-1.