The Pearland Oilers (36-5) have been in the top 10 in the state for the entire season while being ranked at No. 1 for a few weeks until they settled for No. 8 to begin the playoffs.
Now the Oilers find themselves in the 5A state quarterfinals and are a series away from moving on to the 5A state tournament.
Brazoswood (27-11) edged Langham Creek 2-1 in the final game of their best-of-three series and will advance to face the Oilers in the 5A Region III finals.
Meanwhile, the Oilers swept Cy-Fair 2-1 and 3-2 to take care of their semifinal series placing them in the position to keep their state title hopes alive.
Both teams struggled offensively while the pitchers were battling one another.Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard through three innings.
Pearland finally broke the scoreless contest with a run in the bottom of the fourth when Jacob Barfield and Hyden Cole drew walks putting runners on first and second setting up a run scoring single by Kamren Dukes giving the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
Two errors by the Oilers in the top of the sixth set up a sacrifice fly to tie up the game at 1-1.
Cole reached base via an error to open up the bottom of the sixth. Cole moved to second on a ground out and scored the game winner when Tyler Kimball doubled to centerfield to plate Cole.
Brendan Owens, who came in relief of Jake Crain in the sixth inning, got a ground out and two strike outs in the top of the seventh to pick up the win.
Crain pitched an outstanding game allowing only one unearned run on one hit while walking four and striking out four.
Pearland managed only five hits for the game but they were timely as Dukes drove in one run and Kimball plated the other to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Pearland 3 – Cy-Fair 2
Knowing that advancing to the 5A Region III finals was on the line, both teams once again engaged in a real nip-and-tuck battle.
Cy-Fair was down to the end facing a must-win situation while Pearland knew that another win would seal the series and send them to the region finals.
The Cy-Fair scored first off Pearland sophomore Brady Basso with a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Bobcats opened with two straight singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly to produce the single run before the lefthander retired the side.
Pearland answered in the top of the second when Kamren Dukes reached base on an error followed by a double by Tyler Kimball putting runners on second and third. That set up a one-out sacrifice to fly by Nathan Carter that allowed Dukes to tag up and score to knot up the game at 1-1.
Basso struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the second, but surrendered a single and a double that allowed another run to score for the Bobcats giving them a 2-1 advantage.
The Oilers answered with a tying run in the top of the third when Connor Wong ripped a crowd-pleasing triple to left and Jacob Almendarez delivered a clutch line drive to centerfield to plate Wong and tie up the game 2-2.
Basso settled down and retired the next 10 straight batters until Basso issued a harmless one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth. He got a popout and a strike out to retire the side.
The Bobcats threatened in their final at bats. Basso got two outs and then issued a walk and a single putting the winning run on base, but the lefty worked the count to 1-2 before sending a curve ball across the plate to catch the batter looking for the final out and a 3-2 victory.
Pearland got only four hits as Wong was 2-for-3 with one run scored. Dukes and Jacob Barfield got the other two hits.
Basso picked up the win after limiting the Bobcats to only five hits, two runs, four walks, and six strikeouts.
The Oilers will move on to face Brazoswood in the region finals after the Buccaneers beat Langham Creek.