The combination of Good Friday, statewide standardized tests and rainy weather has kicked many local baseball teams off the diamond.
As with most UIL sports, district baseball games are generally played on Tuesdays and Fridays, but several teams moved last Fridays game up a day due to the holiday, knowing they would not play a game again for seven days because of the tests earlier this week. This was known before the season began, but the rain, which started Tuesday morning and is expected to continue off and on through part of Thursday, has thrown a monkey wrench into things.
For example, Arlington Martin (18-5, 7-0 in District 3-5A), which defeated Arlington Bowie 6-2 on March 28, is scheduled to begin the second half of district play with games against Arlington on Thursday and Weatherford on Friday. But soggy field conditions could postpone those games, forcing the Warriors and others facing a similar dilemma to play four games in seven days after not playing a game for over a week and a half.
I would say Thursdays game is definitely in jeopardy right now, Martin coach Curt Culbertson said Wednesday morning. Id say its going to be tough on Friday, too.
Its going to put four games in a seven-day period, which, thats really going to affect everybodys pitching.
Mother Nature has also forced coaches to get creative with practices. Mansfield Legacy (12-8, 7-0 in District 15-4A) has been limited to playing catch in the parking lot and forced to take batting practice at a local batting cage. Broncos coach David Walden said hes never seen such a long break so late in the season before.
This is my 31st year in high school baseball and Ive seen years where you have a layoff and your kids cant hit anything, and Ive seen years with a layoff and they come out and get hot for a couple of weeks, so I never how they are going to do, Walden said. Baseball is just a funny game.
It was a banner week for Cleburne (19-4, 6-0 in District 8-4A), which moved into the THSBCA Class 4A top 10 state rankings on March 28 at No. 10, and then no-hit Everman the next night in a 11-0 five-inning rout.
Sophomore ace Dylan Schneider (7-0) struck out six and nearly tossed a perfect game Friday against the Bulldogs.
He threw well, and we didnt have to make a lot of tough plays, Cleburne coach Ross Taylor said. I think we made two great plays to keep it alive. Hes thrown really well.
Schneider, a transfer from district rival Crowley, and fellow sophomore ace Tyler Fowler (6-1) have helped Cleburne dominate District 8-4A. The Yellow Jackets have outscored opponents 59-2 and have been challenged only by Crowley in a contest Cleburne won 2-1 in eight innings. The bats have been hot, too, as four Yellow Jackets are hitting over .400 in district and only two are under .300.
Its one of those deals where we have a chance to be really good, Taylor said. If we can get hot or stay hot at the right time, then we look forward to making another run in the playoffs. At the same time, its trying to keep things normal and keep these guys focused on the fact that we just want to improve a little bit every day and not let them get to thinking that theyve already arrived.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret
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