Salado Eagles face the #3 Sweeny Bulldogs in the Region IV finals, playing a best of three series this week.
Game one begins at 7 p.m. June 1 at Mumford High School. Games two and three (if necessary) will also be played at Mumford High School. Game two will start at 5 p.m. June 3 and game three will start 30 minutes after the end of game two, if it is necessary to be played.
The Eagles beat Sinton in two close games to get to the Region IV final.
The top five teams in state are among the final eight teams remaining in the 4A playoffs, including #1 Abilene Wylie (29-3-1, 8-0), #2 Argyle (27-5, 9-1), #3 Sweeny (29-6-0, 10-0), #4 Robinson (26-3, 9-1) and #5 Pleasant Grove (26-5, 9-1). Godley (28-3, 10-0) is ranked #8 in state, leaving just two of the eight Region finalists outside of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches May 19 top 10 rankings: Salado (27-11, 9-1) and Little Cypress-Mauriceville (24-10, 7-8).
Salado and Sweeny have faced one familiar opponent, both winning two out of the three games they played. Salado beat the Taylor Ducks 1-0 on April 8, lost 5-1 on April 26 and won the rubber match to determine the 25-4A championship 1-0. Sweeny beat the Ducks in the Area round of the playoffs. After losing the first game 2-1, Sweeny bounced back to thrash the Ducks 10-0 and 13-4 to advance.
Sweeny beat the Cottonpickers of Robstown in three games (3-1, 1-10, 8-2) to get to the Region IV Final. Robstown was ranked #7 in state at the time of the loss, ending their season at 29-7 and 12-2 in district.
The Bulldogs return six players from last year’s 24-8-1, 8-2 Regional Quarterfinalist squad. Head Coach David Luster has two years’ experience at the helm, earning 52 career wins.
Returning starters for the Bulldogs include Hayden Fails, senior outfielder and catch. Fails batted .208 with 18 RBIs last year, earning third team All-State honors. Senior catcher and pitcher Shawn Kelley received All-State honorable mention. He hit .260 with 21 RBIs last year. Senior shortstop and pitcher Docy Erickson hit .318 last year with 18 RBIs. Senior infielder and pitcher Jacob Mathis also earned All-State honorable mention. He hit .323 and had 23 RBIs. Senior outfielder Dax McCleary batted .231 with 10 RBIs. Senior pitcher and outfielder Jonathan Svoboda was named the District pitcher of the year with 49 strikeouts. He also hit .328.
Elsewhere in the state, the 1# Wylie Bulldogs will face the Godley Wildcats for the Region I title. The Bulldogs were state semi-finalists last year. They beat Snyder 6-1 and 9-3 to get back to the Region I championship game.
Region II will feature a top five matchup of Pleasant Grove and Argyle. Pleasant Grove beat Celina in two games 1-0, 9-5 to get to the finals. Argyle breezed past North Lamar 7-1 and 12-1 to get to the Region II finals.
Region III Final will be Little Cypress-Mauriceville against Robinson. Cypress beat the #10 Jasper Bulldogs 5-4 to get to the final while Robinson beat Bridge City 6-5 to qualify.