The Lake Ridge baseball team made history this year when it qualified for the postseason for the first time ever, so fittingly, the Eagles decided to win their first playoff series as an encore.
Lake Ridge will square off with Lufkin in the area round of the playoffs, and coach Greg Ross said his team will definitely have its work cut out for it.
“Lufkin is going to pitch pretty good,” Ross said. “They are going to play defense, and they are going to put the ball in play. So it will be one of those things where we are going to have to show up and play our best game.”
Lake Ridge will play Lufkin in the area round. Game 1 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Lindale High School, Game 2 at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lindale, with Game 3 if necessary at 5 p.m. Saturday at Lindale.
The Eagles defeated Dallas Seagoville in the bi-district round this past weekend, and coach Greg Ross said that he felt it was a pretty good all around effort from his team.
“I think with it being our first playoff series, the kids were really excited,” Ross said. “We were really focused the first game of the series, and just went out there and played well. We hit the ball well and did the things it takes to win a game.
“I think that in the second game, the kids just kind of relaxed a little bit, and that's what kind of hurt us in that second game. One thing that I told them was that it was the playoffs and everything matters. You have to come in with the same intensity for every game.”
Lake Ridge won the first game of the series by a score fo 15-0 and the second game by a score of 1-0, and Ross said he did have some strong efforts in the series.
“Individually, Andy Cobb, our right fielder, played pretty well for us,” Ross said. “He hit well in both games for us. Our pitching, with Parker Schkade and Alex Roth, was also pretty good. Both guys didn't allow a run. I think those three guys really showed up when we needed them to when we needed them.”
Ross said that the importance of winning a post-season series cannot be underestimated for his team, either.
“Winning our first playoff series was big,” Ross said. “Our kids were excited about it. It's huge for us. It's one of those things where the kids have been in this district for three years. Our seniors have gone through the program and have worked hard for everything that we are doing right now, so this is kind of a payoff for them.”
In order to continue upon the type of success the team has enjoyed so far this season, Ross said it will take a couple of things from his team.
“It's going to be a challenge, because this is not just a drive to Dallas,” Ross said. “We have some obstacles we have to overcome with the travel and the possibility of staying in a hotel that we have to get over. My job as a coach is to talk to them and keep them focused on what we're doing.
“We're traveling for business, and we have business we need to take care of.”