Plano West baseball

Plano West senior Bryce Farlander and the Wolves in the thick of the District 6-6A playoff race.

As Tuesday's slate of District 6-6A baseball games concluded, only three nights remain on the conference schedule. Only one of the league's four playoff berths is still up for grabs, and Plano West has a fight on its hands to try and hang onto it.

The Wolves, seeking their first postseason appearance since 2018, enter the final week-and-a-half of the regular season alone in fourth place at 5-6 in district play. West is still within earshot of third-place Flower Mound, which sits at 7-4, but the Wolves have quite the crowd building behind them with four other teams in 6-6A within two games of West.

The cluster of Hebron, Lewisville, Plano East and Plano all share identical 3-8 district record, good for a four-way tie for fifth place. And the duration of West's schedule includes matchups against teams wedged in that logjam.

West had an opportunity to put some distance between itself and those aforementioned four programs on Tuesday but let a strong start fade in a 6-5 eight-inning loss to Hebron. The defeat came in walk-off fashion with the Hawks drawing two walks to lead off the eighth inning before Johnny Mahalik ripped an RBI double to right field to score Cade Binion for the winning run.

Hebron's comeback meant erasing a 5-1 lead built by the Wolves through four innings. West came out hot, striking for three in the top of the first. Paxton Huff led off the game with a double and then scored on a steal, only for Chase Haley to follow with a two-run single to spot the Wolves a 3-0 advantage out of the gates.

Haley and Huff tallied two hits apiece in the loss.

A sacrifice fly by Brian Hallum and an RBI single from Huff gave West a four-run lead in the top of the fourth inning, 5-1. The Wolves only recorded two hits for the rest of the ballgame, falling victim to a three-run sixth inning by Hebron and then the tying run in the bottom of the seventh.

Grant Johnson singled in the tying run for the Hawks, which came with two outs in the inning.

The win kept Hebron within range of West heading into Friday's head-to-head finale between the two, set for 7:30 p.m. at West. The Hawks were in sole possession of eighth place in the district heading into Tuesday's matchup but got help elsewhere to move into a tie for fifth place.

Lewisville, East and Plano all took their lumps against the district's top three teams. Marcus run-ruled Lewisville in four-and-a-half innings for a 12-1 victory, all while Flower Mound did the same to Plano 12-2 in six innings. Coppell, meanwhile, blanked East 3-0.

The Panthers were dialed in defensively with pitcher Brayden Bergman surrendering just two earned runs on four hits, holding the Cowboys to their lowest scoring output in district play thus far. But Coppell's pitching and defense won the day, with pitcher TJ Pompey, a Texas Tech commit, hurling a complete-game shutout. Pompey surrendered just two hits all game, as Coppell won its sixth straight district contest.

Plano, meanwhile, had a tougher go against perennial powerhouse Flower Mound. Battling injuries within their pitching staff, the Wildcats were outhit 15-4 in Tuesday's loss. The Jaguars struck for four runs in the top of the first inning and added three more before Plano got on the board in the bottom of the fifth thanks to back-to-back RBIs by Dennis Sutton and Kyle Bade.

All four series conclude on Friday and the results could potentially finalize the playoff picture. A West win over Hebron, coupled with a Plano loss to Flower Mound, would clinch a postseason berth for the Wolves. West has already earned head-to-head sweeps of both Lewisville and East.

Another win by the Hawks, however, would up the stakes significantly for the final week of the district schedule.

West closes out the regular season with a home-and-home series against Plano, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on the Wildcats' home field. Hebron, meanwhile, meets Lewisville for the first of two meetings between the Lewisville ISD rivals, and East wraps up against first-place Marcus.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter. Email him with sports story suggestions at mwelch@starlocalmedia.com.

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