A full week later than expected, the Timberview baseball team finally learned its postseason fate. It took a little help from Arlington Seguin, but the Wolves wrapped up the fourth seed and a berth in the 5A Region II playoffs.
Thought it’s not the program’s first trip to the baseball playoffs, as erroneously reported last week, it is only the second time, and the first since the school’s inaugural season in 2004-2005.
Weather twice postponed Timberview’s critical final district meeting with Red Oak, and when the teams finally met last Wednesday, the Hawks pulled out an extra-inning victory. A Timberview win would have clinched a spot in the postseason, but the loss didn’t eliminate the Wolves.
Two scenarios remained that would get Timberview in, one of which was Arlignton Seguin defeating Red Oak on Friday night, which they did. Had Red Oak won that game, Red Oak and Timberview would have met in a play-in game on Saturday.
“We knew we had taken care of what we could control,” Timberview coach Bobby Johnson said. “We just looked at it like we were ready to play on Saturday and do whatever we need to do to get in. It just worked out for us that Seguin beat [Red Oak].”
Wolves leadoff hitter Jericho Carlson was just glad to finally have it sorted out.
“It was kind of a stress reliever to know that we didn’t have go through a [play-in game] with Red Oak,” he said. “Right now we just want to go forward.”
As the fourth seed from District 14-5A, Timberview will match up with 13-5A first-place team Dallas Adamson. The series will start Friday at 7 p.m. at Timberview before moving to Higgins Field in Dallas for Game 2 on Saturday at 2 p.m. If necessary, Game 3 would immediately follow Game 2.
If you’re looking for a good scouting report on Adamson, don’t ask Timberview, because they don’t have it.
“I’ve seen their record online and that’s about it,” Johnson said.
But from Zeke Kuyawa’s perspective, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“When we get to thinking, things happen,” Kuyawa said. “It’s always tough when you know who you’re playing. We played Lake Ridge and a lot of them used to go to our school so we know a lot of them. I think that got in our heads a little bit. The fact that we don’t know anything about our opponent, I think that helps a lot. The less we know, the more we’re focused on what we have to do.”
And that’s exactly the approach Johnson says his club will take into the postseason.
“We’re going to stick to what we do,” he said. “We’ll work on defense and get a lot of reps in; focus on hitting and driving the ball.”
Wolves players also aren’t concerned about being underdogs on paper.
“I believe we played in a good district,” Kuyawa said. “We played some very good teams, like Legacy and Waxahachie. If it weren’t for mishaps from our team, I believe we had a chance to win against all those teams. I feel like we can compete with all those teams.”
“It’s on us,” he continued. “Whatever baseball we play that day, it’s on us.”
“We don’t really care [who we play], we’re just going to fight,” Carlson added.
Kuyawa also feels like the Wolves can draw inspiration from how they failed to take advantage of their opportunity to clinch their own playoff berth in that district closer with Red Oak.
“Honestly, I think that helped a lot,” he said. “We were all initially very upset that we didn’t pull that out. It was in our control, and the fact that we didn’t pull through, I think that definitely gave us a bit of a wake-up call. I think that prepared us a lot for the playoffs and how we can go in with the mindset that can happen on a week-to-week basis.”
The playoffs will be a new experience for all the Wolves players, and Kuyawa doesn’t want to rest on simply getting there.
“A lot of people were happy to just make it,” he said. “But I think we have a chance to do something, to make a little bit of a run and do some good things.”
Johnson is happy to see that mindset from his players, and urges them to take advantage of a postseason in which everyone enters on level footing.
“You play to put yourself in position to have this opportunity, so let’s go make the most of it.”