The baseball playoffs launch this week, with Keller and Timber Creek earning their way into the postseason.
Keller had a less anxious week, while Timber Creek still had something to prove.
The bottom line, though, was the same. The playoffs are starting and those teams are included.
Keller was able to put a nice bow on the district championship last week. The Indians finally got in their make-up game with Fossil Ridge and then completed their series with Northwest last week. All three games resulted in Keller victories and set the tone for the playoffs this week.
Keller will take on Plano, at a time and location still to be decided at the press deadline. The only element which had been finalized was the best-of-three format for the series.
The Indians eked out a 2-1 win over Fossil Ridge in the final inning and then blew out Northwest, 12-1. The second game with Northwest proved to be a bit more tenuous, with Keller having to come back from a 3-1 deficit to score five runs in the sixth inning to win 7-3.
The string of wins didn’t seem to give Keller head coach Rob Stramp any sense of momentum heading into the bi-district game with Plano.
“I don’t think you ever want to lose a baseball game,” Stramp said. “Every time we go out we want to win and play well. I think playing competitive games is helpful and we’ve definitely had our share of those.”
Plano is a team which went three rounds deep in the playoffs last year and a number of the players from that squad return. Back from injury is DH Cody Farhat, one of the better players on the team, Stramp said.
That still leaves others, such as Mitchell Hansen, a .500 hitter and solid on the mound for Plano.
“They’re really not a typical fourth-place team,” Stramp said of the Wildcats.
Timber Creek took care of business last week and was rewarded with the school’s first baseball playoff berth.
The Falcons will take on Flower Mound in the first round.
The two teams are scheduled to play at Quik Trip Park in Grand Prairie on Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. and mid-afternoon on Saturday.
Timber Creek was tied with Denton Guyer, Central and Fossil Ridge heading into last week.
With Central and Timber Creek paired up for the week’s series, the sweep of the Chargers, coupled with Fossil Ridge losing to Byron Nelson in their series, paved the way for the historic final spot acquisition by the Falcons.
Timber Creek’s make-up game with Guyer on Saturday – a 5-1 loss – set up the seeding order from District 5-6A.
“We’re very proud to be the first team in the school’s six-year history to make the playoffs in baseball,” said Timber Creek head coach, Derek Watson. “This is only the second class of seniors to come through here and we finally made it.”