As another round of district games for Galveston County baseball and softball teams went in the books Tuesday night, the Preview/Review takes a look at the playoff races in the 24-6A and 22-5A districts and points out a game to watch Friday.
DISTRICT 24-6A OUTLOOK
With the district dropping to seven teams this season coupled with its continuation of a schedule that sees teams play each twice in one week, whenever the odd team out has its scheduled bye, that has had to take the whole week off from district play. So, there are some teams who have played two less district games than others in the current district standings.
Clear Springs leads the 24-6A standings at 6-1 with its bye week already in the books, and the Chargers have a fairly favorable schedule down the stretch. The team will wrap up their season series with Alvin (2-5 in district) on Friday, and have two-game series against Clear Lake (3-4) and Clear Creek (3-5) remaining on its schedule.
Nipping at the Chargers’ heels and with only the current bottom two teams in the 24-6A standings remaining on their regular season schedule are the Dickinson Gators at 7-2. The Gators close out their season series with Clear Brook (2-5) on Friday, have their bye week next week, and then wrap up the regular season with a series against Alvin.
A win Friday will officially clinch a playoff spot for Dickinson, while Clear Springs also appears to be a solid bet to make the postseason. After that, at least right now, the last two playoff spots in the district look to be anyone’s to have, as all of the remaining five district teams are still in the running.
DISTRICT 22-5A OUTLOOK
In what has become a fairly deep district with few easy games, both the Santa Fe Indians (8-1 in district) and Ball High Tors (7-2) find themselves in the driver’s seat to earn one of the four playoff berths and perhaps the 22-5A crown.
To the Indians’ advantage is the fact that they have already swept their series with Ball High, but aside from their 10-0 run-rule victory over last-place Baytown Lee (0-10), the team’s largest margin of victory came in their 5-1 win at Friendswood (5-4) on Tuesday. So, after closing out its series against Lee on Friday, Santa Fe will have to remain laser-focused if the team is to be district champions.
The same can be said for the Tors, who have had five of their district games (both losses to Santa Fe and three wins) decided by one run.
While Santa Fe and Ball High have earned themselves a little bit of breathing room in the race to the playoffs, the same cannot be said for Friendswood (5-4), as the Mustangs find themselves currently on the inside track for a playoff spot, but have multiple teams close behind them.
It’s been a wild ride in district play for the Mustangs, which saw a three-game losing streak put them at 1-3 early on. Then came a four-game winning streak — the first three games saw Friendswood’s offense explode for a combined 45 runs — to get back into the thick of things. The Mustangs’ upcoming three games against Galena Park (4-5) on Friday, against Ball High on Tuesday and against Crosby (4-5) next Friday will be huge in clearing up 22-5A’s playoff picture.
FRIDAY’S GAME TO WATCH
• Clear Falls at Clear Lake: Both the Knights and the Falcons are squarely in the midst of what is currently a fairly wide-open battle between five teams for two playoff spots in District 24-6A.
A win would be huge for Clear Falls, as it would improve the Knights’ district record to 5-5 with only a two-game series against Clear Creek remaining on the district schedule next week. More than likely, a split in that series would be good enough to punch the Knights’ ticket to the postseason.
The game could be even more important for Clear Lake, which currently sits at 3-4 in district. With loss to Clear Falls and a two-game series against first place Clear Springs coming next week, the Falcons could see themselves tumbling down the standings in short order.
First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Clear Lake.