Baseball opens playoffs against defending state champion

The baseball team opens the playoffs by taking a swing at knocking out Prosper, the defending state champions.

Maddie Owens

The baseball team opens the playoffs by taking a swing at knocking out Prosper, the defending state champions.

Arman Kafai, Lead Sports Reporter

The baseball team will be taking on a familiar foe Friday as the first round of playoff baseball kicks off across Texas. Prosper, who played in the team’s district two years ago, comes into the matchup as the defending state champions. The teams play a best-of-three game series starting Friday at Plano West at 7:30 p.m. with game two Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and game three to follow immediately if needed.

“I’m excited,” head coach Scott McGarrh said. “Everyone wants to beat the best. Until they get beat, they are the state champs. And that’s exciting.”

Players are sharing McGarrh’s excitement and are not phased by the Eagles’ defending state title status.

“Even though they won state last year I believe we can win the series,” senior pitcher Noah Thompson said. “We have scouted them some and they are beatable. It is going to be a good series but I believe our team can get it done.”

The team will be without starting shortstop Donovan Langston, and first baseman Zander Brown for the series. The loss of key players is nothing new for the team, as throughout the season, players were plugged into the starting lineup due to injuries.

“This team has lost seven starters throughout the year,” McGarrh said. “This team somehow is continuing to figure out a way to win. Everyone uses the ‘next man up’ mantra, and we truly believe in that. If you had told me we’d lose seven guys and still finish second in our district, I’d say man, you’re crazy.”

Players such as senior Brian Brown and junior CJ Brooks have been forced to step up in place of the key players and have produced.

“This year we’ve faced some adversity, where players with little to no varsity experience stepped up in big situations to help us win games,” Brown said. “We’ve had to put players in positions they haven’t played and we all accept the challenge. Next man up.”

McGarrh is confident in his game plan, and has slated Brody Curry to start off the series against Prosper.

“We got a plan,” McGarrh said. “And we’re going to stick with it.”