As the regular season draws to a close for the Mansfield baseball team, coach Gary Vaughan said that he is happy with how his team is playing and said he is optimistic about the postseason.
Mansfield was able to get in its game against Cedar Hill on Saturday, which the Tigers won by a score of 4-1, and Vaughan said that he was pleased with the effort his team put forth.
“After having already played Friday and with the weather playing a part in almost the whole season, our kids were ready to play Saturday afternoon,” Vaughan said. “We played very well defensively. We had a great pitching performance out of Tyler Stacy and Trevor Hukill.
“Tyler pitched four innings and then Trevor came in and pitched the last three. When Hukill came, I believe there were runners at second and third, and he came in and got us out of the inning.”
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Vaughan said that his team is starting play well in every aspect of the game and said he is feeling good about how his team is performing as the playoffs approach.
“We're playing pretty solid,” Vaughan said. “We are doing a good job of adjusting to different styles of pitchers. We are being a little more selective at the plate of what we are swinging at later in the season, now, which you should be, and we're playing better together as a team.”
In addition to the efforts he got from Hukill and Stacy over the weekend, Vaughan said he has had a couple of other strong performances as well.
“Zach Murray, our senior catcher, has been doing most of our catching here during district, and he has done a real solid job for us behind the plate,” Vaughan said. “Nathan Woods is our number one pitcher, but his bat has gotten hot here lately, and when he is not pitching for us, he is playing DH.”
Mansfield wrapped up the regular season Tuesday night after the press deadline against Midlothian, and with the Panthers being ranked number one in the district and Mansfield being number two heading in to their game, Vaughan said that he does believe it is a benefit to play a team of Midlothian's stature as the postseason gets set to get underway.
“That's what you want to do,” Vaughan said. “You want to play good people. You've got to put your best foot forward. Their coach does a good job for them. We usually have some very good and close games against them where it comes down to which team makes the most mistakes.
“Sometimes it comes down to the last at-bat. We really looking forward to playing them, and I am really proud of my guys for working themselves back into one of the top two spots in our district.”
Vaughan said he is not sure of which team Mansfield is going to face in the opening round of the playoffs. See www.dfwvarsity.com for the Midlothian game’s score and playoff pairings.