Five Galveston County high school baseball teams begin their quest for a trip to Austin and a possible state title today as the bi-district round opens the lid on the postseason.

Following is a look at the four Class 5A and 4A series:

Class 5A

Clear Creek vs. Fort Bend Austin

Having won their last nine games, the Wildcats (23-7) come into the playoffs with a load of confidence. The District 24-5A champs, however, face the realization and pressure of not having advanced in the playoffs since 2009. Their chances are greatly increased if the trio of Michael Rohland, Satchel McElroy and Landon Etzel are able to get on base and cause havoc.

The third-place team in District 23-5A, the Bulldogs enter the playoffs with a three-game winning streak following two losses by a combined 23-6 score. Austin has been up and down offensively, yet one player to keep an eye on is Eric Anthony Jr., the son of one-time Astros and Mariners outfielder Eric Anthony. The younger Anthony has one of the five homers Austin has hit this season.

SCHEDULE: Game 1 — 7:30 p.m. today at Austin; Game 2 — 7:30 p.m. Friday at Clear Creek; Game 3 — 4 p.m. Saturday at Austin.

Class 4A

Santa Fe vs. Richmond Foster

The Indians overcame a slow nondistrict start and turned their daunting schedule into a 9-3 finish in 24-4A. Coach Ronnie Wulf’s squad comes into the postseason with a balanced offense, highlighted by Jordan Gunther’s .457 batting average, six homers and 26 RBI. Tyler Hockenbury also added lumber with three homers to go along with a .355 average.

Preston Plovanich led the Indians staff with five wins and a 1.05 ERA while fanning 61 batters in 40 innings of work.

Foster doesn’t flash a lot of pop, but has a solid offense led by Jackson Schindler and Hunter Kasuls. The two teams met very early in the season, with Foster pounding out 10 hits and taking advantage of three Santa Fe errors in a 13-1 win Feb. 20.

SCHEDULE: Game 1 — 6 p.m. today at Foster; Game 2 — 7 p.m. Friday at Santa Fe; Game 3 — 2 p.m. Saturday at Santa Fe.

Friendswood vs. Angleton

Like Santa Fe, Friendswood was able to grow from a challenging nondistrict schedule and used it to work its magic in district play, finishing with a 10-4 mark. Veteran coach Charlie Taylor’s squad enters the playoffs with a head of steam, closing out 24-4A play with four straight wins by a composite score of 36-5. Friendswood’s pitching staff strengthened during the stretch as well, as the Mustangs have tossed three straight shutouts.

Friendswood must be careful when dealing with the bat of Angleton first baseman Jon Gamble. The 6-3, 225-pound senior has been one of the Houston area’s more prolific sluggers as seven of his 19 hits resulted in home runs. Gamble also has 21 RBIs to go along with 15 runs scored. Sophomore Trent Sholders leads the Wildcats with 22 runs scored and 13 steals.

SCHEDULE: Game 1 — 7 p.m. today at Angleton; Game 2 — 4 p.m. Friday at Friendswood; Game 3 — following Game 2.

Galveston Ball vs. Richmond George Ranch

Tors coach Steve Hecker’s squad has been a roller-coaster ride all season, entering the playoffs with a 15-13 overall record and an 8-6 mark in District 24-4A. Their last six games have been proof positive of Ball’s streaky ways, as wins (Galena Park, Texas City, Dawson) have been followed by a losses (Santa Fe, Goose Creek Memorial, Friendswood). Consistency will have to come one inning at a time if the Tors look to have life beyond this week.

The Longhorns rolled to the 23-5A title, finishing a perfect 12-0 in district play and 21-5-1 overall. Ranked 24th in the state in this week’s Maxpreps.com poll, George Ranch has not lost since falling to Tomball on March 8.

SCHEDULE: Game 1 — 7:30 p.m. today at George Ranch; Game 2 — 7:30 p.m. Friday at Galveston Ball; Game 3 — Saturday, TBD.


Baseball playoffs

Class 5A first round

Clear Creek vs. Fort Bend Austin

Game 1: Today, 7:30 p.m. at FB Austin

Game 2: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Clear Creek

*Game 3: Saturday, 4 p.m. at FB Austin

Class 4A first round

Friendswood vs. Angleton

Game 1: Today, 7 p.m. at Angleton

Game 2: Friday, 4:30 p.m. at Friendswood

*Game 3: Friday, following Game 2

Santa Fe vs. Richmond Foster

Game 1: Today, 7 p.m. at Foster

Game 2: Friday, 7 p.m. at Santa Fe

*Game 3: Saturday, 2 p.m. at Santa Fe

Galveston Ball vs. Richmond George Ranch

Game 1: Today, 7:30 p.m. at George Ranch

Game 2: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Galveston Ball

*Game 3: Saturday, TBD

*if necessary

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