The Southlake Carroll baseball team will open up district with a bang this week when it takes on Flower Mound in its first series of district competition.
The Dragons finished second in District 7-6A last season and reached the area round of the playoffs before coming up short against Lewisville Hebron.
Flower Mound finished third in District 6-6A last season and advanced to the regional quarterfinals before losing to Coppell.
The Jaguars won a state championship in 2014, and Carroll coach Larry Vucan said he expects a hard-fought battle.
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“We expect a tough series with Flower Mound,” Vucan said. “We expect the games to come down to who makes the mental or physical error at the wrong time and who can essentially capitalize on their chances. Pitching for Flower Mound is solid as usual, and we will need to take advantage of scoring opportunities when we can. It will be fun to watch how our kids with limited varsity experience deal with the atmosphere at Flower Mound.”
The Dragons were 6-3 through their first nine games heading into last Thursday night’s contest with Plano East, and Vucan said he believes that the non-district schedule has done a good job of preparing his team for district play.
“Up to this point, the squad has started to form into cohesive unit as a result of playing such a strong non-district schedule,” Vucan said. “We have experimented with quite a few lineups and are in the process of finding out who we think gives us the best chance to be successful in district and in the postseason.”
Vucan said he has been especially impressed with the performance of Jake Murphy, Ross Cadena and Kole Ramage.
“We have had consistently strong performances from the three returners from last year who have district experience,” Vucan said. “That is to be expected, and they have done a good job in helping the rest of the team understand what it will take to succeed on this level.”
Vucan said he is pleased with the way his team is competing as district gets set to get underway.
“We have had the opportunity to be in situations that would present adversity and have really been pleased how our kids respond and learn from mistakes and set backs,” Vucan said. “I do believe our kids compete hard and will continue to learn the requirements for winning District games especially on the road.”
In order to make the playoffs this season, Vucan said it will take consistency.
“I think just the consistency that comes from experience will be pivotal and will be a deciding factor on not only making the playoffs, but how far we can advance. If we can find consistency and continuity, this young but talented team can do great things I believe.”
Carroll will play Flower Mound at 7 p.m. Friday in Southlake.