Photo Courtesy of Neil Fonville/TexasSportsPhotos.com
There was cause for celebration for the Plano Senior baseball team on Saturday. The Wildcats clinched a playoff spot by defeating Allen, 11-8.
Matt Welch firstname.lastname@example.org
A week that began with the potential for chaos in the pursuit of District 6-6A baseball’s final playoff spot will conclude without any controversy.
Plano Senior assured as much on Saturday, clinching the district’s No. 4 seed after a come-from-behind 11-8 victory over Allen.
The Wildcats and Eagles entered the week tied for fifth place in 6-6A at 7-7, trailing fourth-place Marcus (8-8), which had concluded its regular season. With Plano and Allen exiting district play with a home-and-home series against each other, a series sweep by either would clinch 6-6A’s final playoff berth outright. The Wildcats did just that, preceding Saturday’s clincher with a 9-1 victory on Thursday.
On Saturday, Plano’s bats remained hot with 12 hits to help the club score double-digit runs for the third time in its last four games.
The Wildcats seized their first lead of the game in the fifth inning, plating five runs for a 10-8 lead. Plano did so by stringing together four consecutive hits, capped by a two-run double by junior Garrett Maas.
In total, Maas knocked in three runs on the day, as did senior Brett Hudspeth, who went 4-of-5 from the plate as well. In addition, senior Chris Cloud tacked on three hits and senior Gustavo Rodriguez drew three walks, including one with the bases loaded for Plano’s 10th run of the game.
The Wildcats’ mid-game surge undid an abundance of momentum built up by Allen to begin the day. The Eagles led by as many as 6-0, fueled by home runs hit by seniors Justin Wicker and Cody Wernli before Plano caught fire.
On the mound, Plano junior Jacob Mattox picked up the win on 5.1 innings of work, while Allen senior Zach Saint Pierre was tagged with the loss in relief by enduring the brunt of the Wildcats’ comeback bid.
Plano’s win marks the team’s fifth straight to close out the season and assures a playoff spot for the sixth consecutive year. Awaiting the Wildcats in the bi-district round will be a rematch with Keller, which was responsible for eliminating Plano last year.
The Indians and Wildcats will kick off the postseason later this week at a time and place to be determined.