By David Jenkins
The No. 7 state-ranked Farmers are set to open the Class 3A Region II playoffs.
They will take on Mineola in a best-of-three bi-district series.
“They are good and have a team full of “ball players.” It’s going to take all we can do to beat them,” head coach Jon Nordin said. “They have a lot of (baseball) tradition, play in a good district (14-3A), and have beaten some good people. Our kids have been looking forward to this time of year, and we’ll need to be at our best this weekend.”
Things get going 7 p.m. Thursday at Mineola, with things shifting to Farmersville at 7 p.m. Friday for the second game.
If needed a third contest would be played 1 p.m. Saturday at Paris Junior College’s Hub Hollis Field.
Mineola finished fourth in District 14-3A at 8-6 and were 11-9 overall at the close of last week.
Above them were 13-1 Edgewood, with Grand Saline and Winnsboro tying for second with identical 10-4 records.
One week ago, Farmersville (17-5 overall, as of May 4) wrapped up the 13-3A title with a 13-1 record.
“We’ve been talking about winning a district championship all year,” Nordin said. “They’re hard to win and we’re proud of it.”
They beat Commerce 14-6 on Senior Night, Van Alstyne 10-6 in extra innings (secured title) and fell in the finale to Tom Bean 12-11.
At Van Alstyne, the Panthers tied the game at six-all with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
At the start of the eighth, Chandler Norman (hit by pitch), Jarod Davidson (error at pitcher) and Darrin Pennington (error at short stop) loaded the bases.
Norman scored on a Jason Luke walk, and following a strike out, Lyle Hibbits worked a walk to expand the lead to two runs.
Two batters later, Hunter Exum singled to center field to score Pennington and Luke crossed the plate for the games final run.
Norman picked up the decision, after tossing the final two frames and giving up two hits.
“We think that (Van Alstyne) is really good, so winning it there made it even more special. We had a lot of heroes in that game and through out the season, and that’s what has made us good,” Nordin said.
He added about Tom Bean, “We don’t feel good about the way the week ended. Let one get away in a game we had no business losing.”
The Farmers followed that up with a 7-0 loss to Crandall in Gunter.
“We couldn’t get going. But we’ve got to put the good and bad behind us a get ready for the weekend,” Nordin said.
Also making the postseason from 13-3A were Van Alstyne 11-3, Leonard 10-4 and Lone Oak 8-6.
This week in bi-district, Van Alstyne will face Grand Saline (third from 14-3A), Leonard plays Winnsboro (second from 14-3A) and Lone Oak takes on Edgewood (winner of 14-3A).
Missing out on the action are Whitewright 5-9, each 4-10 Tom Bean and Caddo Mills, and Commerce 1-13.
Note: Rankings are from the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association 3A Top 10.
The junior varsity team fell 8-4 at Van Alstyne and won by the same margin over Tom Bean, both in 12-4A.