Katy sweeping their district rival Tompkins, Cinco Ranch trouncing Ridge Point in Game No. 3, Clear Springs defeating Kingwood--these are the moments a baseball fan lives for.
Now that we’re into the fourth round of the Class 6A playoff race, these high school ball clubs are closing in on the chance to play for this year’s State Title.
Here’s the lineup for this week in H-Town baseball.
H-Town 6A Standouts: Graham Laxton (Sr. IF)--Katy
Cinco Ranch Cougars v. Pearland Oilers
CInco Ranch makes school history by advancing to the Regional Semis after defeating Ridge Point
Photo acquired via Twitter: @KatyISDAthletic
Cinco Ranch Cougars
2022-23 Regular Season: 27-4/Finished 2nd in District 19-6A
Head Coach: Brett Wallace
- Bi-District: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 10-0, Game 2: W 13-4) v. Hightower
- Area Round: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 4-1, Game 2: W 12-1) v. Memorial
- Regional Quarters: 2-1 Series Win (Game 1: W 8-1, Game 2: L 2-6, Game 3: W 7-0) v. Ridge Point
2022-23 Regular Season: 27-5-1/District 23-6A Champions
Head Coach: David Rogers
- Bi-District: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 11-3, Game 2: W 11-1) v. Brazoswood
- Area Round: 2-1 Series Win (Game 1: W 8-0, Game 2: L 6-7, Game 3: W 4-3) v. Atascocita
- Regional Quarters: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 4-1, Game 2: W 6-2) v. Clear Falls
Cinco Ranch is the biggest surprise out of the "sweet-16" teams remaining in the Class 6A playoff race--a welcome one, to be clear.
The Cougars defied expectations by defeating Ridge Point in the last round, while setting a school record for the deepest postseason run that the program has ever accomplished.
TCU-commit Lucas Franco (So. IF) provided the gun-show in Round No. 3, knocking two out of the park, including a three-run bomb in the series clincher. Another big-time performance was dealt on the mound by SFA-signee Gavin Rutherford (Sr. P/IF) who let up just one hit in his complete-game shutout in game three.
On the other side, Pearland is coming off a definitive series against Clear Falls.
The two-game sweep was headlined by a standout showing by senior infielder Braeden Morse, who combined for four RBIs, which was highlighted by a two-run shot in game two.
Nico Partida (So. RHP/IF) delivered a classy start in the opener--throwing ten strikeouts, while allowing just one run--and contributed at the plate by driving in two in the series clincher. Texas A&M-signee Caden Ferraro (Sr. 1B/LHP) also drove in two to start the rally in their deciding victory.
Neither of these ball clubs plan on having their season end here. They'll be battling out at the University of Houston starting Thursday to determine who advances and who goes home.
Some of the stars of 2022-23 Pearland Baseball
Jamie Wright (VYPE)
Katy Tigers v. Clear Springs Chargers
2022-23 Katy Tigers Baseball
Justin Hartojo (VYPE)
2022-23 Regular Season: 22-6-3/Finished 3rd in District 19-6A
Head Coach: Wes Hearne
- Bi-District: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 13-0, Game 2: W 16-6) v. Fort Bend Austin
- Area Round: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 9-0, Game 2: W 7-3) v. Cy-Fair
- Regional Quarters: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 4-3, Game 2: W 5-3) v. Tompkins
Clear Springs Chargers
2022-23 Regular Season: 20-9-1/Finished 3rd in District 24-6A
Head Coach: Chris Floyd
- Bi-District: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 4-3, Game 2: W 7-1) v. Alvin
- Area Round: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 5-4, Game 2: W 8-0) v. Dobie
- Regional Quarters: 2-1 Series Win (Game 1: L 0-4, Game 2: W 7-2, Game 3: W 6-2) v. Kingwood
Despite being defeated twice in the regular season to Tompkins, the Tigers went to Cy Springs High School with every intention of defeating their district rivals.
After four innings in the opener, Katy was down by three before flipping the script on the Falcons. By the bottom of the sixth, the game was tied until junior outfielder AJ Atkinson came in the clutch with a two-out RBI-double to give the Tigers the lead and ultimately the win.
Subsequently, Katy carried their momentum into Game No. 2 by striking early with four runs in the first--highlighted by a three-run inside-the-park homer by HCU-signee Graham Laxton (Sr. IF).
In addition, game two saw three pitchers--Lucas Moore (Sr. RHP), Cade Nelson (So. P/IF), and Cole Kaase (Sr. RHP)--combine for a no-hitter to cap off the sweep over Tompkins.
Katy is back in the Regional Semis for the second-straight year, whereas Clear Springs reaches Round No. 4 for the second time in school history.
The Chargers showed tremendous resiliency to come back from a 4-0 defeat in game one against Kingwood, responding with back-to-back wins of their own.
Clear Creek ISD's reps will look to keep the streak alive when the two ball clubs face off at Deer Park High School, starting Wednesday.
Cy Woods Wildcats v. Rockwall-Heath Hawks
2022-23 Cy Woods Baseball
Bradley C. Collier (VYPE)
Cypress Woods Wildcats
2022-23 Regular Season: 28-3/District 16-6A Champions
Head Coach: Phil Schwarz
- Bi-District: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 11-1, Game 2: W 7-2) v. Tomball Memorial
- Area Round: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 7-5, Game 2: W 4-2) v. Oak Ridge
- Regional Quarters: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 10-0, Game 2: W 15-0) v. Klein Oak
2022-23 Regular Season: 27-7-1/Finished 2nd in District 10-6A
Head Coach: Greg Harvey
- Bi-District: 2-1 Series Win (Game 1: L 0-1, Game 2: W 5-3, Game 3: W 4-3) v. Wylie
- Area Round: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 12-2, Game 2: W 4-2) v. Mansfield Legacy
- Regional Quarters: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 3-2, Game 2: W 2-0) v. Midway
Cy Woods' hot-streak persists into Round No. 4 after outscoring Klein Oak 25-0 in another series sweep.
The series clincher saw several Wildcats share the spotlight, as the majority of the lineup made significant contributions to the 15-run barrage.
Just to name a few, senior 3B Ethan Farris went 2-for-3, with two runs scored and four batted in. Brady Sullivan (Sr. OF) had McClane Helton (Jr. 1B) each two RBIs, while Tristan Russell (Sr. SS) had three. On the mound, senior LHP Chase Morgan pitched a shutout with seven Ks through four innings before being retired.
Coach Phil Schwarz's squad will be traveling to Baylor Ballpark this week more emboldened than ever. The next obstacle in their path is Rockwall-Heath, so look for Cy Woods to make a statement.
The Woodlands Highlanders v. Rockwall Yellowjackets
The Woodlands Highlanders
2022-23 Regular Season: 25-6-1/District 13-6A Champions
Head Coach: Ron Eastman
- Bi-District: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 1-0, Game 2: W 6-0) v. MacArthur
- Area Round: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 5-0, Game 2: W 7-0) v. Klein Collins
- Regional Quarters: 2-1 Series Win (Game 1: W 2-0, Game 2: L 3-4, Game 3: W 9-1) v. Tomball
2022-23 Regular Season: 29-6/District 10-6A Champions
Head Coach: Barry Rose
- Bi-District: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 8-2, Game 2: W 13-3) v. Naaman Forest
- Area Round: 2-1 Series Win (Game 1: L 1-9, Game 2: W 8-5, Game 3: W 6-0) v. Mansfield
- Regional Quarters: Series Sweep (Game 1: W 11-6, Game 2: W 10-0) v. Lake Ridge
The Highlanders made it clear that they're here for the long haul after their decisive victory over Tomball.
After a hard-fought game one victory, followed by an unfortunate error late in the second game tying up the series, The Woodlands made a statement with their 9-1 win to clinch the series.
Senior right-hander Ethan Coronel was stellar in the opener, shutting out a tough Cougars lineup, while sitting down six batters. Despite the bats being quiet early on, seniors Tyler Howard (4-8, 2 RBI, 4 R) and Logan Ellefson (4-8, 2 RBI, R) spearheaded the TWHS offense to the Regional Semis.
Their matchup this week invokes a little deja vu, as coach Ron Eastman's crew prepares to take on Rockwall--the team that defeated them almost a year ago to the day (2-1 series).
With the tension turned up to 11, this will be a series you won't want to miss.