COLLEYVILLE — Suits and ties might have to wait for the Colleyville Heritage baseball team.
Prom is scheduled for Heritage High School next week, but with two decisive wins Saturday against Midlothian, 9-0 and 8-3, the Panthers instead have a date with Hurst L.D. Bell in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals next weekend.
Naturally, the girls will have to wait for the fashionably late Heritage team (24-13), which already has made its priorities clear.
“I know prom is coming up next week, but we’re just excited to play,” Panthers senior outfielder Cody Thomas said. “This is first priority to play, and prom can come after that.”
Thomas went a combined 4 for 5 against Midlothian (24-9) in the two games, driving in three runs. His Game 2 two-base shot off the left-center wall started the 9-0 rout.
“For the most part they set up really on the outside of the plate, so all those pitches I either looked at or battled it off,” Thomas said. “They threw a lot of off speed outside and I just kept battling it off until I got my pitch somewhere around the plate. I hit a lot of opposite field today, because they kept throwing it outside.”
Game 2 starter Lane Norwood threw a one-hitter for the Panthers. He carried a no-hitter into the top of the seventh, but with one out, Midlothian catcher Zach Humphreys drove a hard ground ball through the right side of the infield for his team’s first and only hit.
After the second game, Norwood still couldn’t quite put his finger on what created his success Saturday.
“I don’t know. I just kind of pitched my game the same way I always do,” he said.
The runs came in bunches for Heritage in Game 3, scoring four each in the third and fifth innings.
Midlothian left 16 runners stranded on Saturday, which Heritage coach Alan McDougal credited to his defense.
“There’s really not a whole lot of fear when there are runners on and we’re in tight situations, because we know if our pitchers can just get something put into play the defense can take care of it behind him,” McDougal said.
With dreams of the “big dance” in their heads, Heritage hopes to continue a playoff run, which the school hasn’t seen in two years, prom or no prom.
“I wasn’t planning on going to prom,” Norwood said, showing confidence that his team would win. “I mean, I have a date, but I didn’t want to go.”
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