Three athletes and three fans inducted

ERIC SMITH

SPORTS EDITOR

 

Mark Rodriguez “accepts his award”…

 

Mark graduated from Pleasanton High School in 1988 and it was only by the grace of God that he was able to play baseball his senior year. Two crippling knee injuries, one as an eighth grader and another as a sophomore, limited his action at P.H.S. He had to use crutches for almost three of his four years of high school after the injuries he got from playing football his 8th grade year and later playing basketball as a sophomore.

Mark started his senior year at PHS after his his physician cleared him to play baseball and he made up for lost time. He became the ace pitcher for Pleasanton and one many believe was a part of one of the best teams in Pleasanton.

Their coach was the legendary Larry Czeszewski who was in his second of four years as a the baseball coach at the time.

It became immediately evident, that the team was good when it beat Fredericksburg, Hondo, the South San Bobcats (5A) in scrimmages, then won the Fredericksburg Tournament. In the process, Mark pitched a one-hitter to beat Boerne 10-0. The Greyhounds then came back to beat Pleasanton in the next tournament.

In their first 23 games, which included district contests, the Eagles lost only one game and went on to post a 22-1 (13-0 district) record before they lost a meaningless district game to Carrizo Springs. By then, Pleasanton had already clinched the district title.

In the process, Rodriguez won 14 straight games on the mound, which is believed to be a school record that still stands. He pitched three onehitters and two two-hitters. He pitched in four of the biggest district games of the season and came through with wins over district rivals Edgewood and Uvalde. He did not lose a game, until the Boerne Greyhounds beat him in the second game of a best of three Bi-district playoff series.

During the stretch, the Eagles gained a lofty ranking of # 2 in the state by the Texas Association of Baseball Coaches. Only Brenham remained ahead of the Eagles the entire season. After Boerne eliminated the Eagles in the Bi-District round, they finished with a record of 23-4.

Mark finished with a 14-1 pitching record and an earned run average of .42. He struck out 66 batters in the 15 games he pitched. Mark was later named the district’s MVP.

After graduating from high school, Mark became a member of the Flax League All-Stars, a band of South Texas baseball players who went all the way to the World Series of Babe Ruth Baseball in Ohio. They were coached by Ox Miller.

After returning, Mark accepted a baseball scholarship from Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas and pitched for two years. After graduating from Texas State University in San Marcos, he came back to Pleasanton and pitched several years in the Bluebonnet League for the Pleasanton Colts.

Mark is the son of Minnie and Maggie Rodriguez of Pleasanton and now resides in Pleasanton where he works for Price Chevrolet.

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