Mansfield Sports

Eagles wrap up season of firsts, graduate 15 seniors

Lake Ridge starting pitcher Alex Roth, a sophomore this year, could be one of the few familiar faces next year after the team graduates 15 seniors.
Lake Ridge starting pitcher Alex Roth, a sophomore this year, could be one of the few familiar faces next year after the team graduates 15 seniors. Star-Telegram Archive

The Lake Ridge baseball team achieved something great this season by winning its first playoff series in school history, but the team's unprecedented campaign would come to an end against Lukin in the area round.

Coach Greg Ross said that his team fought hard in the series with Lufkin, but just came up a bit short in its bid for a spot in the regional tournament.

“We went down there really excited about staying in a hotel, traveling out of town and things like that,” Ross said. “I think that first game, we weren't just focused the way we needed to be. We didn't hit the ball very well, and we made some mistakes running the bases and things like that. I think it was because we were all kind of excited being in the moment.

“That night, we got to the hotel and talked about the first game, and I told them that it was do or die now. I told them that yesterday's game was a first for us ... the second game we know what to expect. The kids came out and played a whole lot better and and they really battled.”

Legacy lost the games to Lufkin by scored of 7-0 and 5-3 respectively.

Reflecting on the season as a whole, Ross said he is pretty pleased with how things turned out, but said there is also room for improvement.

“I don't think that I am every really satisfied,” Ross said. “I was proud of us this season, being the first year that we've ever made the playoffs, but I think that we could have done better at different things throughout the season that could have prepared us better for the playoffs.

“I think there were some games and practices throughout the season where we just weren't focused the way we should have been. We'd go into games and wouldn't have the mentality of just leaving it all out on the field. We didn't have that killer instinct, and I think that was what kind of shocked us in that first game against Lufkin.”

Lake Ridge will lose 15 seniors to graduation from this year's team, and Ross said their contributions will be missed.

“Those guys have meant a great deal to the program,” Ross said. “I started the program three years ago, and they have been here the whole time. I really appreciate and thank them for that every chance I get. They've really made my first head coaching job an experience that I will never forget.”

Ross said that while he does believe his team will be in pretty good shape for next season, he did add that it will largely be a new cast of characters.

“The past two years, we've had a pretty good class of freshmen and sophomores,” Ross said. “Then next year we'll have a good class of juniors that I think will step in for us, and I think they will be able to do some good things for us. The bad thing about having 15 seniors is that you have to rebuild, and the other thing is that we will be a young team next year. Only having five juniors in the program, we are going to be young.”