Bobcats draw big challenge in Cleburne

Posted Monday, May. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Byron Nelson baseball team lived to fight another day with series victory over Joshua last weekend, and now has its sights set on the sixth-ranked team in the state this weekend in Cleburne.

The Bobcats will play Cleburne at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Fort Worth Arlington Heights High School, with Game 2 at the same time and place Friday and Game 3, if necessary, at 1 p.m. Saturday. Coach Mike Killian said this series will be a massive challenge for his team.

“They're a great ball club,” Killian said. “The biggest thing they've got going for them is being a well-coached team, along with the experience of being there and going deep in the playoffs. They are a returning state finalist, so those guys know how to win.

“I expect it to be a tough series. I like how we match up with them, and at some point in the playoffs, you are going to have to play teams like that, and it is our turn.”

The regional quarterfinals is the farthest the Nelson baseball team has ever been in the postseason, and Killian said regardless of the outcome of the Cleburne series, this year has been a success.

“These kids have played well all year and bought into everything we have asked them to do,” Killian said. “They have worked extremely hard, especially the senior class. The way that we feel though, is, why not us? We've got a good ball club too, and we definitely expect to go out there and compete and be in the series.”

Nelson defeated Joshua in two straight games by scores of 6-2 and 14-3, and Killian said he was impressed with how his team played throughout both games.

“We played really well,” Killian said. “We swung the bat exceptionally well in both games. The first game was kind of strange. We had an hour and 45-minute delay in the middle of it because one of the light towers never came on. So we had to wait for them to get that fixed, but it did not really affect us.

“Our starting pitcher (Jeff Walburn) kept himself focused and loose, ready to go back out there, and actually pitched better after the delay than before the delay.”

Killian said he believes his team is peaking at just the right time.

“I think we are definitely playing our best baseball when we need to, which is toward the end of the year,” Killian said. “You look at how we had to get into the playoffs, to win five out of the seven in the second half to get in, and we did that.

“I think we had a lot of confidence coming into the playoffs, and we've played really well the last couple of weeks.”

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