(Weslaco, Texas)-Call it Midnight Madness! The 31-6A La Joya Coyotes came-from-behind, down four runs after the second inning, to defeat the 32-6A Weslaco Panthers in eleven innings 6-5 in the University Interscholastic League 6A Region IV Quarterfinals on Sunday morning. “This is baseball,” said La Joya HS Head Baseball coach, Mario Flores Jr. “Can you believe this? We are headed to the Sweet 16 Baby.” The game started at 7:30 p.m. in Weslaco and ended at 12:20 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The Coyotes (23-15-1) forced a Game Three after no-hitting the Panthers (26-11-1) on Friday night with eleven strikeouts. That pitcher, senior Santiago Tijerina was called on again, with a few pitches left to throw on Sunday morning. Head Coach Flores called timeout and motioned to his senior in the bottom of the eleventh inning with bases loaded and two outs to take the mound. And why not? He only needed one pitch to force a pop-up out for the win and celebration.

The Coyotes will now play last year’s State 6A Region IV Finalist, 28-6A San Antonio Johnson (25-9) Jaguars, who eliminated Round Rock Westwood (24-10-1) on Saturday night 5-2. The Jags lost Game One 1-0 before ousting Westwood 10-0, 5-2. Both teams will now meet in the Best of Three series this weekend.

On paper, the Coyotes have 183 runs batted in with 306 hits. La Joya also has put 15 baseballs over the fence too. With an impressive batting average of .322, the Coyotes also have 65 doubles for the season. The Jags and Coyotes are equally balanced when it comes to scoring with Johnson averaging 5.8 runs as compared to the Coyotes with 5.6.

The winner between SA Johnson/La Joya will meet SA O’Connor or SA Reagan/New Braunfels.

Next Round! The La Joya Coyotes defeated Weslaco in the UIL State 6A Region IV Quarterfinals on Sunday morning. (HSSMImages)