FRIENDSWOOD – With playoff baseball now in deep waters, numbers can get thrown out the window.
Riding the momentum of a hard-fought three-game regional quarterfinal series with district rival Santa Fe, the Friendswood Mustangs are well aware that games can often go either way in playoff baseball, even against the state’s No. 10 class 4A team Brenham.
“Baseball is a funny game,” Mustangs head coach Charlie Taylor said. “If you get out there and get after it, anything can happen. I expect these guys to get out there, work hard and be rewarded for it.”
Friendswood and Brenham enter their best-of-three series, which begins with Game 1 at 7 p.m. Thursday at Katy High School, after very different types of three-game battles in the previous round.
Against Kingwood Park last Thursday through Saturday, Brenham had three high-scoring blowouts with an 11-4 win, a 13-3 loss and a 7-4 series-clinching win.
Friendswood, meanwhile, had three razor-close pitching duels with Santa Fe, losing 1-0 before rallying to take the series with a 3-2 win in 10 innings in Game 2 and another 3-2 win in Game 3.
“It was good for them to get into those kinds of battles and stay focused the entire time,” Taylor said.
With bragging rights over their district rival already sealed up, Friendswood’s players enter their series with perennial state title contender and regional rival Brenham with confidence and drive toward their season-long objective of bringing Friendswood baseball its first state championship.
“We’re looking forward to getting out there and winning in two; we don’t want to have to force a Game 3,” Mustangs third baseman Drew Barba said. “And we want to take another step toward that ultimate goal, which is to play at Round Rock.”
In order for the Mustangs to move past the heavy-hitting and well-coached Brenham squad, Taylor said his team will need to pick up their hitting while continuing their solid pitching and defense. Pitching depth was a strength for the Mustangs in the series against Santa Fe, as they got top-notch performances from four different hurlers.
“If we’re doing those things right, we’ll be able to compete with them, and we’ll see how it goes,” Taylor said. “Our kids have a lot of desire and they have some momentum going for them right now.”
After Thursday’s Game 1, the series in Katy will continue Friday with Game 2 set for 5:30 p.m.
Game 3, if necessary, will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2 on Friday.
High school playoff glance
Friendswood vs. Brenham
All games at Katy High School
Game 1: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Game 2: 5:30 p.m. Friday
*Game 3: 30 minutes after Game 2
* If necessary