Keller Citizen

Ridge tied for district lead, Falcons have big week ahead

Just a game into the second round of the district baseball schedule, Fossil Ridge is in a tie for the lead while Timber Creek is holding on to the third-place spot.

But this week, as with any week of district play in such a competitive environment, may tell more about who enters the playoffs and which seed they’ll take.

After Keller handed Carroll its first loss in district, the Dragons seemed to take out that frustration on Fossil Ridge in the next game. Carroll came away with a 6-2 win. That string of events leave Ridge and Carroll tied with 7-1 records.

Timber Creek sits in third place with a 5-3 record after a win over Keller (9-4) and a close loss (4-3) to Fossil Ridge.

Ahead for the Falcons this week is Central and Carroll.

Carroll beat Timber Creek 10-0 in their first meeting but Timber Creek head coach Derek Watson said in baseball, there is always the game within the game.

“We need to have a short memory,” Watson said. “The last game has no bearing on the outcome of this one.

“Always, the next game is the biggest game,” Watson said. “Looking ahead, every (game) is an important one in this district.”

Watson acknowledged good pitching wins out over good hitting and the Falcons hurlers have been doing their job, with the defense also being solid.

“We feel like we’re in a good spot,” Watson said, “but one game can certainly turn the tide in someone’s favor. With six games left, we need to win a majority of them.”

Fossil Ridge head coach Doug Dulany said the 7-1 mark in such a tough district race is welcomed.

“If you would’ve asked me at the start of the season how I’d feel about being 7-1 at this stage, I would certainly take it,” Dulany said.

Last week was big for the Panthers as they took on two teams nipping at their heels. They picked up wins over Timber Creek and Richland.

This week has the Panthers taking on Northwest and Keller, another two teams which need to make a charge of their own to compete for a playoff spot.

Richland heads into the week at 4-4, while Keller and Northwest are 3-5.

Keller had just lost to Northwest last week, 4-3, and will play Central before the matchup with Ridge on Friday.

The Chargers are struggling early, but have shown they can still step up and play at a higher level. Even though they are 2-6, the Chargers beat Northwest last week, 3-0.

“They’re capable of playing good baseball,” Watson said of Central. “In this district, you better play hard each time out.”