As difficult as this season has been for the Northwest baseball team, the Texans began the week still in pursuit of a playoff spot.
Now, that may seem hard to believe for a team that entered the week 3-6 in District 5-6A. However, the Texans (9-11-1) are in position because the latter six teams in the district are either at .500 or below. Keller is in the postseason at 9-0. Byron Nelson is closing in on a spot at 7-2.
Northwest trailed Keller Timber Creek and Keller Fossil Ridge by one game. The Falcons and the Panthers tied for third at 4-5.
So there is plenty at stake. This week provided the opportunity for the team to make a final push. The Texans resumed their suspended game with the Falcons on Monday and then played a home-and-home series with Denton Ryan.
“As a coaching staff we talked about the spot we were in,” Northwest coach John Herrick said. “It’s not ideal, but we have three games this week to make something of the season. We’ve played in a lot of tight games, and I think we’ll benefit from it. There was another week where we played three games, and we did quite well. We just have to keep the confidence going.”
In a constant shuffle, Herrick moved Dustin May to the No. 2 spot and thinks he may have found the final answer. May delivered a key two-run single in 3-1 victory in the first game against Timber Creek last week.
“He just has done a good job of making contact,” Herrick said. “But I think that’s going to have a positive impact for the rest of the lineup.”
Byron Nelson update
The good thing for the Bobcats (13-3, 7-2 in District 5-6A) is that they could start Monday’s game against Denton Guyer from the beginning. The two teams never started last Friday’s game.
Once that game completed, Nelson began a home-and-home series with Keller Central on Tuesday. Nelson began the week three games ahead of Keller Timber Creek and Keller Fossil Ridge. At the very least, two wins would clinch a playoff spot.
Head coach Mike Killian had to adjust his pitching for the week. It was going to be determined by what happened on Monday. Will Bresnhan was scheduled to pitch Monday, followed by Will Gaines on Tuesday. Friday’s starter was going to be determined by Bresnhan’s pitch count. However, he would have three days of rest. However, right-hander Conner Prado could be an option.
Meanwhile, the offense has been getting to another level with the emergence of Brtion Schiewe. He delivered a grand slam in the 6-4 victory over Denton Guyer on April 14. In fact, Shiewe has productive all season.
Going into the week, the left-handed hitting Schiewe was batting .390 with one home run and 13 RBIs along with a .634 slugging percentage and .509 on-base percentage.
“We were watching him last week,” Killian said, “and one of the coaches looked at me and said this was the time that we were really starting to see everything that we were hoping for. He just has a great ability to make contact.”
When you see the final records for both Northwest and Nelson, you’ll note how few games each team played. Because of the snow and ice in late February and early March followed by the spring thunder showers, along with the inability to make games up, Killian estimates he’s lost nine games to the weather. Herrick believes he’s lost five.