With the bases loaded and a playoff game on the line, in extra innings no less, there may not be a better situation for Garret Zaskoda’s name to be the next on the lineup card.
Clay Roberts was hit with a pitch and advanced on a bunt, although the next two batters were walked to load the bases for none other than Zaskoda, who had gotten his team to this point by surrendering only two hits all game from the pitcher’s mound
He slapped a hit to the outfield the other way and although it hung up for a bit, it soon fell to the turf, allowing Roberts to run home easily.
“Relief fell over me as well as the excitement that Zaskoda, who had just competed his butt off on the mound, was the guy that got to get the hit that allows our team the chance to play another week,” Coach Dane Bennett said of his feelings immediately after the ball was hit.
That next game will be against a quasi-familiar opponent although their first meeting did not come on the baseball diamond.
The Taylor Ducks clashed with the Tigers in the bi-district round of the football playoffs where Sealy walked away with a 55-0 victory. Bennett alluded to some possible revenge but understands they are two different beasts.
“It is always fun when you get to see one team twice in the same year in two different sports,” he said. “We know that we are going to get their best shot and that they are going to be very hyped and energized to get past us. We know that a target is on our back because of what happened in football and because of the type of program we are in baseball, but that is how it has been all year. We always get everyone’s best and we don’t want it any other way.”
The Area Championship will also be a best-of-three series with Game 1 scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night at the Shiner Starplex. Game 2 (and 3 if necessary) will be Saturday at the same location with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. with a trip to the regional quarterfinals hanging in the balance.