The Southlake Carroll and Flower Mound Marcus baseball teams are the two best programs in District 5-6A so far this season, and on Friday night, they will lock horns for the second time in four days.
Carroll was the top team in the district standings heading into last Friday’s game with Lewisville and Marcus was second, and coach Larry Vucan said he expects this game to play out pretty much as expected between a number one and number two-seeded team.
“Marcus is well-coached and is about as good a baseball school as there is in the state of Texas,” Vucan said. “They have a lot of tradition, and their youth developmental program is solid. They are going to be competitive every year. Just like every series in this district, it will be about who can manage the momentum shifts the best and execute when it counts.”
Carroll was 18-8 through their first 26 games of the season, and Marcus was ranked 12th in the state among 6A programs according to Texas High School Baseball as of March 27.
The Dragons were 5-1 heading into Friday’s game with Lewisville, with a victory over the Farmer’s last Tuesday, and Vucan said he is happy with the progress his team has shown through the first half of district play.
“I’m very pleased with their approach to preparation and how much they continue to display both humility and confidence at the same time,” Vucan said. “We know we are a work in progress and need to improve in managing those momentum shifts ... which is a product of maturity. Just really enjoying how much fun they are to coach.”
Vucan said earlier this season that he believes that team that creates the most chances is usually the one that wins, and said he thinks the Dragons have done a good job with that in the first half of district play.
“I think it begins with a solid approach at the plate and knowing what the game calls for at the time,” Vucan said. “We have a group of players that have different strengths, and for our staff it’s been fun working with them on how to manipulate counts and work into advantage situations that allow you to use your strength, whether it is a flash bunt, a fake bunt to draw infielders out of position and limit their range, or a to get into a positive count to get a fastball to hammer.
“Pitch recognition is critical, and then being able to put pressure on the defense via the running game creates opportunities with runners in scoring position. The mentality, not for just us but all ball clubs, is to get them on, get them over and get them in.”