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Baseball: Pearland hosting First Pitch Classic Thursday

February 20, 2018 GMT

Improvement is always the word of the day in any practice in any sport, but the challenge becomes a little more daunting when you’ve thrown a combined no-hitter the first game of the season.

Such is the case for the Pearland baseball team whose 3-1 season-opening victory against Alvin provides the impetus for the Oilers who host the First Pitch Classic this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Sites for tournament play will be Pearland, Alvin, Santa Fe and Manvel high schools.

A bigger challenge for the 12-team field will be completing all the scheduled games as rain is forecast each of the tournament’s three days.

“Rain looks like it’s definitely going to be a factor, but the goal is to get in as many games as we can,” Oiler head coach Anthony Scalise said. “If we get washed out Thursday, we’ll probably bounce Thursday to Friday and Friday to Saturday.

“We’ll just see how it unfolds.”

Teams in this year’s field include Pearland, Dawson, Alvin, Brazoswood, Friendswood, Sugar Land Clements, Houston Episcopal, Clear Falls, Santa Fe, Nederland, Manvel and Angleton.

“We open with Clements, and they usually have an ace that’s going to A&M or another big-name school, and then we finish the first day with Episcopal, who’s always loaded,” Scalise said. “We also play Clear Falls, which really has some good guys on the mound, and then we play two hard-nosed teams in Angleton and Nederland.”

Scalise said the win over Alvin was a good start.

“Alvin’s always a good rivalry game, and we’ve always had a good relationship with their staff,” the Oiler head coach said. “There’s a good fan base for both teams, and the quality of baseball is usually good.

“They’re always going to have arms, and they make you beat them…if you can.”

Pearland pitchers Matt Adams and Colby Casey combined for the no-hitter, walking four and hitting one batter.

“There was a hard south wind blowing in and the ball was just sticking up in the air,” Scalise said. “Outside of the walks, the guys did a good job of throwing strikes. We made one error, which wasn’t too bad.”

Ideally, Scalise said he’d like to look at each of the players on his 20-man roster this weekend.

“All 20 can contribute, whether starting, substituting or relieving,” he said. “I think we have 12 pitchers that we’d like to look at, and obviously we want to win games, but the main thing is to see who can get the job done.

“By the time district starts, you’d hope guys like Matt Adams, Colby Casey, Ray Castro, Matthew Brown Mason Lytle and Clayton Broeder can give us good innings. Castro is back from Tommy John surgery and looking good, and Lytle is a guy we want to see more on the mound. Broeder is a 6-2 left sophomore that could have a chance to start some games.”

Games start at 10 a.m. each day at each of the four fields.

FIRST PITCH CLASSIC

THURSDAY’S GAMES

At Pearland

10 a.m.: Pearland vs. Clements

12:30 p.m.: Clements vs. Episcopal

3 p.m.: Episcopal at Pearland

At Alvin

10 a.m.: Alvin vs. Dawson

12:30 p.m.: Dawson vs. Nederland

3 p.m.: Alvin vs. Nederland

At Manvel

10 a.m.: Manvel vs. Friendswood

12:30 p.m.: Friendswood vs. Angleton

3 p.m.: Angleton vs. Manvel

At Santa Fe

10 a.m.: Santa Fe vs. Brazoswood

12:30 p.m.: Friendswood vs. Angleton

3 p.m.: Clear Falls vs. Santa Fe

FRIDAY’S GAMES

At Pearland

10 a.m.: Pearland vs. Angleton

12:30 p.m.: Dawson vs. Clear Falls

3 p.m.: Clear Falls vs. Pearland

At Alvin

10 a.m.: Alvin vs. Episcopal

12:30 p.m.: Episcopal vs. Brazoswood

3 p.m.: Brazoswood

At Manvel

12:30 p.m.: Manvel vs. Clements

At Santa Fe

10 a.m.: Santa Fe vs. Friendswood

12:30 p.m.: Friendswood vs. Nederland

3 p.m.: Nederland vs. Santa Fe

SATURDAY’S GAMES

At Pearland

10 a.m.: Pearland vs. Nederland

12:30 p.m.: Brazoswood vs. Friendswood

At Alvin

10 a.m.: Alvin vs. Clements

At Manvel

10 a.m.: Manvel vs. Dawson

12:30 p.m.: Dawson vs. Episcopal

At Santa Fe

10 a.m.: Santa Fe vs. Angleton

12:30 p.m.: Angleton vs. Clear Falls