When it comes to a Game 3 in a baseball playoff series, it becomes more about survival than anything else.
However, it also reveals who has better pitching depth. Eventually, that’s what helped Byron Nelson to keep its season going. The Bobcats used solid starting pitching from sophomore left-hander Brian Seamster to defeat Saginaw Boswell, 11-3, to win their Class 4A Region I bi-district series. The series was played at Grapevine High School.
Nelson (20-15) continues to showcase itself as a consistent program. Playing in its fourth varsity season, the Bobcats have been to the postseason the last three years and have advanced to at least the area round each time. Nelson will play Fort Worth Arlington Heights in the area round starting Thursday.
“It feels pretty good,” head coach Mike Killian said. “I really didn’t have any anxiety about Game 3 because we’ve had pitching depth all season. Brian has been terrific all season. I thought we could play a good game. Boswell is a very talented ballclub. We were fortunate to do what we did.”
A seven-run fourth broke open the game. Senior right fielder Chase Collins had the big hit with a three-run home double. Bobby Jones also added a three-run home run.
That more than made up for the first two games of the series when the Bobcats lineup was limited to six total hits.
The Bobcats won the first game, 5-4, thanks to Briton Schiewe, who had three of his team’s four hits. Alex Johnston picked up the win. Schiewe collected two triples and drove in two runs. Nelson also took advantage of the erratic Boswell defense to score two runs and also scored a run on a balk. Boswell evened the series with a 7-2 win thanks to a two-hitter.
“We just thought if we could get into their bullpen, we’d have a chance,” Killian said. “I learned that the guys can handle the moment and not be overwhelmed by it. We faced some really good teams in [District] 5-4A.
“We were in a win or go home situation. But we found a little resolve during the year when we started 1-3 in district. So this was similar.”
This was the second consecutive year Nelson had eliminated Boswell in the playoffs. They met in 2013.
Area round matchup
Nelson faces one of Fort Worth’s most consistent baseball programs in Arlington Heights. The area playoff series begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Nelson. Game 2 is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Arlington Heights. The deciding third game would be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at Fort Worth’s LaGrave Field.
The winner of this match-up would face the winner of Denton Guyer-Cleburne in the Region I quarterfinals.
“We’ve not played them, but obviously, we have a lot of respect for their program and what they’ve accomplished,” Killian said. “We’re going to have to work more from scouting information and other information we have from other teams and coaches. It’s another quality opponent.”