Southlake Carroll and Lewisville are two of the top baseball teams in District 5-6A this season, and two will lock horns on Friday night for the second game of their two-game series. The Dragons won Tuesday’s meeting 4-0, as Kole Ramage one-hit the Farmers.
Carroll Coach Larry Vucan said that what impresses him most about the Farmers is their offensive capability, and he said Carroll will be in for a good challenge.
“They have a solid ball club, and from the scores and the opponents they have played, they will be a huge challenge,” Vucan said. “I understand they have a very strong hitting team that is combined with speed, which has allowed them to score runs in bunches. They have a very seasoned head coach and will undoubtedly be worthy of our best effort.”
Vucan said he does not believe that Carroll and Lewisville being the top two teams in the district adds any significance to the game.
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“For my money, Flower Mound and Marcus’s talent will show itself as district plays out,” Vucan said. “Lewisville is on a roll and is very formidable because they believe, and that is hard to compete with. I expect it to be like every district game will be — tightly played, and the difference coming down to who can eliminate mistakes in key situations. The team that creates that most chances and then produces in those moments will win.”
Carroll got off to a 3-1 start through its four games of the season, and Vucan said he is pleased with the way his team starting to build some chemistry.
“I think so far there is some confirmation of what our staff and anyone who has watched us play all year thinks,” Vucan said. “We are really talented, but inexperienced. I feel we can not only compete with anyone in the state, but win against anyone. However, we have lapses in mental preparation at times that when playing such great competition can be the difference.
“We have three players back from last year that have district experience and a lot of young talent that is learning the requirements, both physically as well as mentally, of grinding out wins in district. Overall, I believe we will be better in the end as far as putting together a full game than we are right now. I do see how hard they compete and this gives me a lot of reason to be optimistic.”
Vucan said something else that has really pleased him is the way he is seeing players step up.
“I think Cole Johnson moving to eighth in the order has lengthened our lineup and allowed him to get more fastballs to look at, which has in turn given him more confidence,” Vucan said. “We have had a lot of production from Ryne Ryskoski, who is not exactly the prototype four-hole hitter, but is a tough, tough out and extends at-bats deep into counts. He has provided consistency in the middle of the order.
“It has been a real privilege watching Adam Stephenson develop as threat in the two-hole, and he may the fastest guy in the state home to first. He can drive the ball in the gap and if he puts the ball on the ground he is going to beat the throw most of the time. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense to be perfect.”