Leader-area baseball teams are in their final week of their respective regular seasons, and five are still in the hunt for the playoffs. While a couple of them are a lock for the postseason, this week could have important implications regarding seeding.
Below is the status of each team and where they stand moving forward.
The Bulldogs are on the precipice of making it to the UIL 6A Region III playoffs for the second consecutive year after missing out three years ago when they made the jump from 5A.
Heights started the year 4-0-1 and has continued riding a hot streak. They are currently 17-5-1 overall, and their most impressive feat is that they have not lost consecutive games this season.
The Bulldogs are in the driver seat in terms of their playoff fate, since they sit in second place. They close out the season against the no. 3 school in the district, Bellaire High School, followed by no. 1 Lamar High, who is the no. 12 ball club in Texas, according to Maxpreps.
The team has relied on its stingy defense to win them games. The defensive unit has given up only 51 runs throughout 23 games this season.
Lutheran North Lions
After a promising 3-0 non-district start, the Lions have stumbled through their league schedule and sit 5.5 games behind the third and final playoff spot, which is currently held by Cypress Christian School, whom LHN split the season series with.
The Lions will finish out their season with a two-game series against newcomer St. Thomas Episcopal, who will be looking for their first district win of the season.
Although the club will graduate its largest senior class since head coach Andy Moore took over in 2015, he’ll still have the advantage of returning several key players next spring.
The Spartans are looking to make the postseason for the third straight year under head coach Edgar Villalta and are also in charge of their second-season destiny, as they hold the second seed in UIL 4A Region III-District 24 standings.
Their two remaining games are against Kashmere and Wheatley High Schools. The Spartans have encountered both teams previously this season and rocked Kashmere 15-4, while they fell in a high-scoring 14-13 shootout versus Wheatley.
They will likely need to take at least one of those games in order to qualify for the playoffs, depending on how the rest of the league plays out.
St. Pius X Panthers
The Panthers have the luxury of playing in Texas Associations of Private and Parochial Schools Division I District-I, which means that all but one of the five teams in the league qualifies for the playoffs. A big reason behind this is because the level of play is enormous within the district, as all five teams are ranked in Texas, according to Maxpreps.
With that said, SPX is in third place behind Concordia Lutheran, who is undefeated in district, and St. Thomas. There is a chance that the Panthers can make a push for the two-seed, since they close out the season against rival St. Thomas at home.
It is unlikely that SPX will miss the playoffs since they are two games ahead of fourth place and three ahead of last. If they stand pat, they will likely play Plano’s John Paul II or Fort Worth’s Nolan Catholic in the first round.
St. Thomas Eagles
The Eagles are the highest rated club in The Leader area, coming in at no. 187 in the state, according to Maxpreps.
They play in the same league as the Panthers and are two games ahead of them with three district games remaining. STHS has jumped to the second seed behind an explosive offense that averages 6.67 runs per game in district.
Although they have a game remaining versus Concordia, who sits atop the standings, the best the Eagles can finish is second place. If the Eagles remain in their current position, they will likely face Prestonwood Christian, whom St. Thomas lost to in the state semifinals last year.
After running the table in UIL 5A Region III District 20 play last year, the Rams are poised to do it again this year, although they are in a battle for first against Milby High School, who just moved down from 6A.
They close out the regular season at home against Sterling High School.
Once in the playoffs, the Rams will look to get past the first round for just the first time in Head Coach Mike Evans’ four-year stint at Waltrip.