2017 High School Baseball Playoff Preview
By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – History was rewritten last Tuesday night as the Donna Redskins baseball team clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the 2003 season.
Now the ‘Skins would like nothing more that to add some more history to their magical season by winning a bi-district title in the 2017 baseball playoffs.
That opportunity comes this Friday night as Donna High will face Mission Veterans in game one of a best-of-three series in the Class 5A Bi-District round of the playoffs.
If the Redskins are about to add another chapter to this spectacular season, then they will need to pull off a huge upset against a Mission Veterans team that enters this series at 23-4 and are ranked 22nd in the state.
The Patriots come into the bi-district round loaded with talent and with Noel Vela who just happens to be one of the best pitchers in South Texas.
Also, Vets is no stranger to the postseason as they are making their sixth straight appearance and have gotten as far as the Sweet 16 in 2015.
We know our backs are against the wall and Mission Vets is heavily favored,” said Donna High head baseball coach Joey Ramirez. “They have an impressive record and are state ranked as well.”
“But coming into the playoffs, everyone is 0-0 and our kids are approaching it like it’s just another game.”
As for Donna High, they come into the playoffs with an 11-12-1 record and ended the season on a high note by winning four out of their last five games in district play.
“The kids have been playing great lately and a lot of that has to do with their confidence level being so high,” said Ramirez. “Our backs were against the wall there for a while and the kids knew they needed to dig deep and come together as a team if they were going to break that playoff door down.”
“They committed themselves to playing Redskins baseball and everything just seemed to come together for us. We beat some great teams during that win streak and lost the final game of the season to Brownsville Veterans in a very close game. We have some momentum in our favor and the kids want to keep riding this wave we are on right now.”
Ramirez feels his team has absolutely no pressure coming into the playoffs and that he wants them to do one thing against Mission Veterans.
“I want these kids to gain playoff experience and to learn from it as well, “said Ramirez. “This is uncharted territory for us and the kids really don’t know how to react.”
“Hopefully we can get three games in here against Vets which would really say a lot about us and give these kids some valuable experience. But I can tell you this, our kids are going to play hard and will give Vets a run for their money.”
Game one will be played at Donna High on Friday night with game times set for 7 p.m.
Games two and three will shift over to Mission Veterans on Saturday with the second one to be played at 2 p.m. and the third one, if necessary, will commence 30 minutes after game two.