After almost two weeks since its last game, the Saint Jo Panthers baseball team will play Dodd City in the regional quarterfinal round of the playoffs on Friday and Saturday.
The Panthers had a warm up game scheduled for last Friday, but the weather rained out the game and empty fields were scarce.
Despite splitting games against the only other 1A team in its district Perrin-Whitt, Saint Jo won the district title and earned itself a first round bye in the playoffs last week. The Hornets won both of their games against Ector by the scores of 5-0 and 15-2.
The Panthers’ dream season came to an end in the regional semi-finals last year against Dodd City. While both teams have some new players and Coach Derek Schlieve wants to keep the focus on this team, many players were on last year’s team.
“There is definitely an air of familiarity with the matchup, but new guys, new year,” Schlieve said.
The Panthers did not end their season on a hot streak. After beating Chico on April 5, Saint Jo lost its last five games, including the one against the Pirates from Perrin-Whitt.
While some of those games had players missing for outside reasons, it was enough to drop the Panthers out of the top 10 of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association poll they had been in for most of the season.
Dodd City is sitting at number four on the latest poll with only four recorded losses on the year. Nobody outside of Saint Jo believes the Panthers have a chance, which is right where Schlieve likes his team to operate.
Saint Jo plays Dodd City at 4 p.m. at Bells on May 10. Game two will be played afterwards. If game three is necessary, it will be played at noon on May 11.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.