District 6-4A was always going to be decided by rivals Birdville and Saginaw Boswell and the two teams have not disappointed.
The Birdville Hawks (20-8, 13-0 in 6-4A) took the first round 2-1 at home after surviving a seventh-inning charge by the Pioneers. If Boswell (22-7, 13-1) wants a piece of the district title it must hold serve and defend its home turf at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Its a big game for us, weve talked about being district champions all year, Boswell coach Steve Foster said. We have Birdville coming to our place, and we feel like we owe them a little something. We know we want to get back at them and roll into the playoffs on a winning note, that would be great for us.
Both coaches plan on throwing the same pitchers as they did in the first matchup, when each brought their A game. Zach Files gave up only three hits in a complete-game performance for the Pioneers but had to settle for his first loss as the Hawks manufactured two runs.
His counterpart will be Parker Hagler, who also went the distance the first time around. Hagler struck out six and tossed six scoreless innings before giving up a run in the seventh. He also benefited from some great defense behind him that saved at least one run early in the game.
Boswell is a good team and you know its their place, so you just have to play really well to beat Boswell, Birdville coach David Hatcher said. I expect another game thats going to be hotly contested, and its going to be the team that gets some base runners on and gets a hit here or there thats going to win the game.
Both teams are hot heading into Thursdays game. Boswell is 8-0 since the loss while Birdville is 7-1.
Three of the past five games between these teams have been decided by one run, and the teams split the season matchup each of the past two seasons.
We talk about Birdville all the time just because they are a big rival and were looking forward to playing them because its always a good game, its always a close game and it would be good for us to win, Foster said.
The Pioneers close out the season the following night against Fort Worth Polytechnic, a team they beat 32-0 earlier this season. The Hawks wrap the season with a home game Fort Worth Dunbar on Friday before traveling to Fort Worth Carter-Riverside on Monday; two teams they defeated earlier this year by a combined 24-1 margin.
Both coaches are saying all of the nice, respectful things about their future opponents but Thursdays game will decide the 6-4A title.
Were looking forward to Thursday and know its going to be a good game, Hatcher said. We have our work cut out for us. Obviously I think were going to face Files, who is their best pitcher and hes got some experience, so theyre going to be ready to play us, thats for sure.
Cody Thomas exploits as a standout quarterback and baseball player at Colleyville Heritage are well known.
Now the 6-foot-5, 200-plus pounder can add leadoff man extraordinaire to the résumé.
Thomas, who is headed to either Oklahoma in both sports or to professional baseball, has batted between third and fifth for most of his career, but earlier this season Heritage coach Alan McDougal, who was tired of watching opposing teams pitch around Thomas, moved him up to the leadoff position.
The move hasnt hurt Thomas production. The senior is among the area leaders in batting average (.461), homers (11), extra-base hits (24), RBIs (37) and runs scored (35).
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret
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