Although we are just one month into 2014 high school baseball district play, there are already several teams that have come into focus as potential postseason entrants. However, with a month and a half until UIL play, no one is technically out of the hunt.
Frisco Liberty (18-3, 4-0)
It took an extra inning rally for Liberty to remain unbeaten in District 9-4A, but despite the scare from Frisco High School, the RedHawks still reign supreme.
Currently ranked sixth in the state, the RedHawks are as close to a lock for the postseason as any other team in the district. Armed with some of the best pitchers in all of 4A, Liberty is led by Brian Simpson (4-0, 18Ks)—who also batting a robust .455 with 22 RBI, Josh Ryan (5-0, 0.42 ERA, 44 Ks) and Robby Evans (2-0, 3.10 ERA, 22 Ks). Offensively, the RedHawks can get it done too, as Simpson is protected in the lineup by the speedy J.T. VanGelder (.382, 14 SBs), Austin Miller (.415, 16 RBI) and Mario Quintanilla (.365, 15 RBI).
One district game to circle on your calendar is just a few short days away. Liberty heads out to Prosper High School this Friday night. This game should be an excellent one because it features the only two unbeaten teams in district. After Friday, one team will stand alone atop the district with the playoffs looming ever closer.
Frisco Wakeland (16-5, 3-1)
The Wolverines are ranked twelfth in the state despite having the unenviable task of taking on the two best teams in 9-4A in their first two weeks of district play.
After losing 2-0 to Liberty, they nipped Frisco High 11-9, only to drop to co-district leader Prosper 1-0. Wakeland gets a stab at revenge next Tuesday, as the hit the road to take on Liberty once again. Should be an excellent tune up for the playoffs.
Wakeland is led by Austin Gehle (.364, 7 RBI) as well as Coleman Beazley, who was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI against Frisco and also recorded the win with 11 punchouts.
Frisco High (12-9, 1-3)
No matter the sport, it always seems as though the Frisco High Raccoons are going to be in the mix. Baseball should is no different, as this scrappy bunch—despite their district record—need to be considered in the thick of a potential playoff push.
Two of their three district losses were decided by two runs or fewer, and the Raccoons boast two top-level pitchers in Parker Pell (2-1, 3.38) and Blake Welch (3-0, 3.50). But it’s the Raccoons’ offense that really keeps them in the hunt.
Andrew Miller (.358, 28 RBI), P.J. Harris (.375, HR, 13 RBI) and Brennan Fischer (.412, 14 RBI) have been seeing the ball well all season and show no signs of slowing down.
This Friday, the ‘Coons have a chance to even the district series with rival Little Elm, as the Lobos travel to Frisco for a 7:30 PM first pitch.
Frisco Centennial (7-9, 0-3)
It’s not like the Titans don’t have any star power on their team. Tanner Gardner (.458 2 HRs 15 RBI) is one of the best hitters in 4A if not the state. And Centennial has some true grinders on the hill with Seth Elledge (2-1, 1.00 ERA, 23Ks), Austin Boudreaux (1-1, 2.42 ERA, 15 Ks) and Cooper McCain (1-1, 2.47 ERA) toeing the rubber most games.
Although it sounds silly, the Titans’ struggles in district have little to do with a lack of talent. It’s more the over abundance of talent in the district that is the issue. Centennial has a chance to scratch out a few wins in their two upcoming games against The Colony and Little Elm. After that though it’s back-to-back games with district powerhouses Frisco Liberty and Prosper.
Frisco Heritage (1-13, 0-4)
Ronnie Murphy leads the winless Coyotes with a .444 batting average and 5 RBI. Kylor Morris gets the majority of the starts on the hill, and has a respectable .429 ERA with 18 Ks.
Unfortunately for Heritage, they’d have to practically win out in district to make the playoffs—and that still might not be enough to guarantee a postseason spot in one of the most talent-heavy districts in the state.
Frisco Lone Star (8-6, 0-1)
The Rangers are most likely going to make the playoffs once again in 2014. Although they are currently third in their district, they boast some of the district’s most athletic players on their roster.
Led by multi-sport star Austin De Leon (.308, 14 RBI; 2-0, 2.24 ERA 18 Ks), Lone Star can hang with anyone else in the district. Jerry LaSaint (.386, 12 RBI) is another key piece necessary for Lone Star to make a run in the postseason.
Frisco Legacy Christian (14-3-1, 0-0)
District play has yet to get underway way the Eagles of Legacy Christian Academy. However, with their stacked lineup, you have to assume that a playoff run is easily in the cards.
Led by do-it-all Hayden Dyer (5-0, 0.87, 35 Ks; .540, 16 SBs), and former Lone Star High standout Chase Moake (5-0, 1.68, 51 Ks), Legacy presents a one-two pitching punch that few teams (if any) will look forward to facing.
Along with Dyer, the Eagles offense gets rolling anytime Kyle Luiken (.386, 21 RBI) and Tyler Mettica (.350, 9 RBI) step to the dish. Legacy’s district season gets rolling April 1, as they take on Red Oak’s Ovilla Christian at 7:00 PM at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.