The high school baseball playoffs get going this week in both the public and private school ranks and several Heights-area schools are hoping to be playing for a long time in May. St. Thomas, St. Pius X, Houston Heights and Waltrip have all wrapped up excellent regular seasons and now each knows every time they take the field, if they win, they get to keep playing.
The Eagles began defense of their 2017 TAPPS Division I state championship and their quest for the program’s 24th state crown overall with a best-of-three home series this week against Addison Trinity Christian, the fourth place team out of District 1-6A. While most teams wrapped up their regular season games last week to get ready for the postseason’s start this week, the Eagles played their last regular season game Monday night against Second Baptist. Just like St. Thomas, Second Baptist has TAPPS state title aspirations just like St. Thomas and both teams wanted to get in one final real competitive game before they began their postseason journeys.
With District 3-6A pretty strong this spring from top to bottom, the Eagles went 7-5 in district, but finished league play with three wins in their final four games, including a 7-2 win over Tomball Concordia Lutheran in the last league encounter. St. Thomas and Trinity Christian played a doubleheader Wednesday on the Eagles’ diamond with a Game Three, if needed, on Thursday morning and the winner of the series moving to the Regional round of the playoffs. The winner of the St. Thomas-Trinity Christian series will face the winner of the Prestonwood Plano Christian-San Antonian Prep matchup next week in the regional round. Both teams had nearly identical records on the season with St. Pius X at 21-11 and Trinity Christian at 21-10.
The old adage in sports is “you play the games one at a time.” For the Bulldogs, that’s also how they’re hoping to progress in the Region III-6A playoffs. The Bulldogs, who officially were third in District 18-6A, will face top 20 state-ranked Cy Ranch 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4 at Delmar Stadium in a one-game, winner-take-all series in which the winning team advances to the second round next week and the losing team is eliminated. The Ranch finished the season as the 18th ranked 6A team in the state in the latest Texas Association of Baseball Coaches (TABC) poll. The Ranch brings a 23-6-2 record into the contest, but they completed District 17-6A action last Friday night with a 9-2 loss to Langham Creek.
The Heights has completed its best regular season ever as a 6A program and will now no doubt try and ride the arm of senior pitchers Chris Macias as far as they can in the postseason. Macias, who has eight wins, defeated Lamar twice this season for the Heights’ first-ever wins over the two-time district champion coming into this season . Macias has pitched in most of the team’s biggest games this year. He has also proved durable, throwing seven innings each time each took on the Texans. Cy Ranch was officially second in District 16-5A and they boost two good starting pitchers with senior Ty Madden sporting a 7-1 record and a 0.58 Earned Run and junior J.J. Goss finishing with a 6-1 record and a 1.42 ERA. Both are also strikeout pitchers with Madden recording 71 in 48 innings while Goss has 57 in 41 innings pitched. Since it is a one-game deal, if the Bulldogs get their bats going, they are likely to see both of them.
St. Pius X
The Panthers opened the TAPPS playoffs at home Wednesday when they took on Division I, District 1 resident Fort Worth Nolan Catholic in a best-of-three series. The teams played Game One Wednesday night and then came back Thursday to play the final two games if both were needed. The Panthers, led by manager Mike Evans, went 6-6 in district play and wrapped up the league docket last Tuesday with a 5-0 loss to district champion Beaumont Kelly. Kelly had a first-round bye in the playoffs and will take on the winner of the Bishop Lynch-Brownsville St. Joseph’s series winner next week in the Regional Round. The winner of the St. Pius X-Nolan Catholic series will take on Liberty Christian next week in the Regional semifinals after Liberty Christian was the District 1 district champion to earn a first-round bye. Liberty Christian and Nolan Catholic are in the same district. The Panthers are trying to get back to the TAPPS Division I state tournament for the first time since 2012.
The Rams begin the Region III-5A state playoffs with a best-of-three series against Fort Bend Elkins out of District 23-5A. The Rams began the series Thursday afternoon at Delmar Stadium, but the next two games moved to Carpenter Field at Fort Bend ISD. Game Two Friday evening was scheduled for a 7 p.m. first pitch and Game Three, if needed, is to be played 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Waltrip will take a 15-6 record into the playoffs. The Rams were 13-1 in District 24-5A