Entering Friday night, only one team in District 6-6A baseball had clinched a playoff berth, with state-ranked Marcus holding down the top spot at 9-2 in league play.
Six other teams in the conference were still alive for one of the three remaining postseason seeds, setting up a high-stakes final week on the district diamond.
For Hebron, the stretch run has been about survival. The Hawks entered last week at just 3-7 in district play and mired in a five-game losing streak. Tuesday was a much-needed shot in the arm for the program after blasting fourth-place Plano West, 15-0.
The Hawks and Wolves conclude their home-and-home series on Saturday with Hebron then setting its sights on a two-game set with Lewisville to close out the regular season.
The Hawks likely need to win out in order to nudge their way into a crowded playoff race that includes second-place Coppell (8-3), third-place Flower Mound (7-4), West (6-5) and a fifth-place tie between Plano East and Plano (5-6).
Tuesday’s run-rule blowout of West was a step in the right direction. Hebron put the Wolves behind the 8-ball early on, striking for seven runs in the first inning and adding seven more in the sixth. Aden Howard led off the game with a triple as the first of four consecutive batters to reach base for the Hawks. Howard returned to the plate later in the inning and scored Josiah Lewis on an RBI single for the team’s seventh run of the contest.
In between, Connor McGinnis, Charlie Page and Lewis all tallied RBIs for the Hawks.
Lewis, batting ninth in head coach Steve Stone’s lineup, added a grand slam during the sixth inning to cap the team’s scoring for the night. Lewis totaled five RBIs on 2-of-4 from the plate while Paige went 2-of-2 with three RBIs batting eighth for the Hawks.
Pitcher Jeremy Slate held West scoreless over six innings pitched, surrendering just three hits in the win.
Although the stakes for the final week won’t be as high for a Lewisville team still in search of its first district win, the Farmers haven’t gone quietly into the night. The Farmers, 0-11 in district, battled state-ranked Coppell to the wire in an April 16 encounter before falling, 3-2.
The Cowboys chipped away for three runs off pitcher Drew Schmidt through five-and-a-half innings before Lewisville struck for two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Chris Weatherford put a ball in play that led to a Coppell error and scored both Schmidt and Jiwoong Park to keep the Farmers afloat. Weatherford accounted for one of just two hits for Lewisville in the loss, with Andrew Hancock adding the other.
The Hawks and Farmers will convene Tuesday at Hebron for the first game of their home-and-home series, with the action shifting to Lewisville on Friday. First pitch for both games is at 7 p.m.
Mustangs in playoff mix in 11-5A
As the schedule winds down in 11-5A, Creekview’s baseball team will be headed to the postseason.
The Mustangs entered Friday in third place in the district at 10-3 and fresh off a 13-0 shutout of Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday that saw four pitchers combine to throw a no-hitter.
Creekview’s John Schaller, Garrett Palacio, Nathan Miller and Christian Laiza all tossed one inning in the shutout win, holding Jefferson hitless over just four innings played. The four hurlers allowed just two walks and combined for 11 strikeouts.
That was more than enough to help a Creekview offense that plated double-digit runs for the sixth time in district play. Leadoff hitter Carson Braun was instrumental in that effort on Tuesday, going 2-of-3 with a double and two RBIs. Nathan Yarbrough added two hits as well, while Ethan Hodges and Carson Williams tallied extra-base hits as well.
The win was the fourth in five games for the Mustangs, whose playoff seed can fluctuate plenty heading into the final week of the regular season. Hillcrest leads the district at 12-1 and has the head-to-head over Creekview, while Woodrow Wilson sits in second at 11-2. Entering Friday, Creekview was just a half-game up on WT White (10-4).
Newman Smith is tied for fifth place with Bryan Adams at 6-7, with RL Turner sitting one spot below in seventh at 3-11.
The Mustangs wrap up the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when they host White.
Creekview perfect in 11-5A
The Creekview put the finishing touches on an undefeated run through district play on Tuesday, cruising past WT White 13-1. The victory upped the Lady Mustangs to 16-0 in District 11-5A.
The win was Creekview’s fourth in a row by double-digit runs, pouncing over White for 10 runs in the first inning to put Tuesday’s ballgame out of reach.
The top half of the Lady Mustangs’ lineup did the bulk of the damage with Jessica Toledo, Jada Lynn King, Lauren Orozco, Madison Martin and Tessa Contreras combining for 10 hits and eight RBIs. Orozco homered in the win, Toledo hit a triple, Contreras and King added two doubles apiece and Martin also hit a double to boost the Creekview offense.
Martin was big in the circle as well, holding White to two hits and striking out seven batters over four innings of work. One game prior on April 17, Martin teamed with Lynnette Hernandez to no-hit Bryan Adams in a 16-0 victory.
Across Creekview’s 16 district victories, the team outscored district opponents 257-12. That includes nine shutout wins for the Lady Mustangs, who will begin their playoff run later this week in the bi-district round.