New UIL baseball champions will be crowned in Class 4A and 5A this season because none of the eight teams in the two semifinal brackets were in Round Rock last season.
Five schools — San Antonio Reagan, Humble Atascocita, Richmond George Ranch, Victoria East and Hallsville — are making their first trip to the state tournament. Aledo’s not far off. In 1980, Class 2A Aledo made its only previous trip, but lost in the semifinals.
Saturday’s 5A championship will air live on Fox Sports Southwest, while the 4A title game will air on delay on June 12 at 7 p.m. The 4A championship will be streamed live on FoxSportsSouthwest.com.
Class 4A semifinals
Dell Diamond, Round Rock
• Richmond George Ranch (33-7) vs. Victoria East (29-9), 4 p.m. Thursday
• Hallsville (34-4) vs. Aledo (32-6-2), 7 p.m. Thursday
There aren’t any real surprises in this group. All four were ranked in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association top 10 poll entering the regional semifinal round. ... George Ranch rides a six-game winning streak into its first state tournament, having swept its previous three opponents in Region III. The Longhorns are averaging 10 runs per contest in that stretch. ... Victoria East had to bounce back from a Game 1 loss in its two previous playoff series, rallying to beat Schertz Clemens and Buda Hays. ... Hallsville has allowed two runs or fewer in six of its 11 postseason games, including five of the last six. Hallsville swept through Mansfield Legacy 3-2 and 6-0. Pitchers Connor Reich and Coby Weaver are each 11-1. ... Since losing two of its final three regular-season games, Aledo has scorched through the playoffs with 10 wins and just a single loss. In half of those wins, the Bearcats have come from behind for the victory.
Class 5A semifinals
Dell Diamond, Round Rock
• Pearland (37-5) vs.
Flower Mound (32-12-1),
• SA Reagan (33-6) vs.
Humble Atascocita (31-8-1),
3 p.m. Friday
In mid-April, Pearland was a top 10 national team, ranked No. 9 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 50 National Baseball Rankings, but the Oilers finished only second-best in District 22-5A. ... Pearland, which won the 4A (now 5A) title in 1980, is making its first trip to state since 2009 and fifth overall. Leadoff hitter Connor Wong has been a driving force throughout the postseason. ... Flower Mound had to knock off crosstown rival Marcus in the Region I final. Pitcher Kyle Johnston, a Texas signee, picked up a win and a save in the two-game sweep. ... The Jaguars made trips to the state tournament in 2003 and 2004, but failed to win a title — reaching the title game in 2004. They have played five one-run games in the playoffs, winning four. ... San Antonio Reagan pitcher Troy Montemayor has appeared in seven of the Rattlers’ nine playoff games, earning six wins. He and three other members of the roster played on a McAllister Park team that advanced to the 2009 Little League World Series. ... Humble Atascocita swept Plano in the regional finals. Prior to that, the Eagles beat the state’s No. 3-ranked team, Rockwall Health.