As Galveston County baseball and softball teams push further into the deep waters of the regular season, games for teams hoping for a playoff spot get more and more important.
Here’s a look at what’s going on.
Last week in review
Clear Falls’ (7-3 in district) collapse Friday against Alvin (3-7) — with the Knights splitting last week’s series with the Jackets — allowed Friendswood (7-3), which swept Clear Lake (3-7) to climb into a tie for first place in 24-6A. Dickinson (6-4) and Clear Creek (6-4) split their series, and Clear Springs (6-4) split its series against Clear Brook (2-8) to create a three-team logjam for the final two playoff spots with four games remaining.
Santa Fe (10-2) won a pair of key games last week against Ball High (8-4) and Texas City (4-7) to remain alone atop District 23-5A. The Tors rebounded from their Tuesday loss to the Indians to score an important win over Galena Park (8-4) on Friday. Texas City took care of business against Fort Bend Willowridge (1-10).
Games to watch this week:
Clear Falls vs. Dickinson — In a series between two teams in the district’s top five, both sides will be looking will be looking to remedy some key struggles. For the Knights, it’ll be about finishing games better, as they enter this game off a loss where they allowed eight seventh-inning runs. For the Gators, they’ll be trying bring their bats to loss as they come off a week where they squeaked by Clear Creek in a 2-1 win before getting shut out by the Wildcats on Friday. The series begins 7 p.m. Tuesday at Clear Falls, and commences 7 p.m. Friday at Dickinson.
Clear Springs vs. Friendswood — This will be another series with playoff implications featuring two of 24-6A’s top five teams. There will be high quality pitching from both sides with each staff led by Division I-commit aces (Clear Springs’ Blake Schultz, UL-Lafayette; Friendswood’s Brandon Deskins, Rice). Excellent defense also will be a cornerstone for both teams. The series opens 7 p.m. Tuesday at Friendswood before the baseball version of the Battle for Whataburger closes out 7 p.m. Friday at Clear Springs.
Galena Park at Santa Fe — After an open date Tuesday, the Santa Fe Indians face their last major hurdle between them and a district championship when they host Galena Park at 7 p.m. Friday. Rome Shubert leads a promising, sophomore-centric pitching staff, while catcher Josh Blankenship anchors the Indians’ lineup.
Last week in review
It may be the final week of the regular season, but there’s still plenty up for grabs in the District 24-6A playoff race after last week’s results. Clear Springs (9-3) was stunned by Clear Brook (5-7) to snap a nine-game winning streak. Clear Falls (7-5) couldn’t lock up a playoff spot, falling to the Chargers on Tuesday and Alvin (10-2) on Friday. Clear Creek (9-3) steered out of a three-game losing skid with wins over Friendswood (6-6) and Dickinson (2-10). Friendswood rebounded from the Clear Creek loss with a win over Clear Lake (0-12).
The playoff spots for District 23-5A, on the other hand, are locked up, but there is some positioning to be decided. Santa Fe (13-1) knows exactly where it will enter the postseason, clinching the district title with last week’s walk-off win over Galena Park (11-4). Texas City (10-4) had a huge week with wins over Galena Park and Fort Bend Willowridge (2-12) to clinch a playoff spot. After the gimme win against Willowridge on Tuesday, Ball High’s (7-7) were dealt a knockout blow with a 8-1 loss to Alvin Shadow Creek (6-8).
Game to watch this week
Manvel at Texas City — After likely wins for both teams Tuesday, their season finale 6:30 p.m. Friday will have major playoff seeding implications. If the explosive bats of the Lady Stings, led by freshman Mya Holmes, are able to out-duel an equally potent Marvel lineup, they will likely force a three-way tie for second place in 23-5A to potentially improve their playoff standing, depending how the teams hash out the tiebreaker. A loss likely results in a No. 4 seed for Texas City.