The Farmers didn’t feel like celebrating Friday night after a tough loss, but they walked away co-district champions.
Farmersville (9-3, 15-14) split their season series against Community, with the two teams ending up atop the District 13-4A standings. The Braves scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of game two to come back and win 5-4.
“We played well enough to win the game all night, just couldn’t finish it,” head coach Jon Nordin said. “We got to give credit to Community for hanging in when things didn’t look good for them. That’s not going to have any impact on us going forward, but I hated it for the kids because we didn’t get to feel good about what we’ve done over the last few weeks.”
Farmersville held a 3-0 lead through five innings, scoring off of two Community errors in the top of the third inning. Cooper Strawn had dominated up until that point, allowing just three base runners over the first five innings of the game. After walking the first batter in the sixth on his 90th pitch, Caden Norman came in to try and complete the six-out save. Strawn left the game with after pitching five innings. He allowed one run on one hit and had 10 strikeouts. He finished the regular season with a team-high 85 strikeouts over 40 innings pitched.
The Braves were able to add two runs in the sixth on back-to-back two-out singles. The Farmers responded with one run in the seventh, but Community answered the call with a bases-clearing double to win the game.
Coach Nordin said after the game he told the guys he was proud of their effort. The Farmers were on a six-game winning streak heading into the final game of the year and hope to regain the momentum in the playoffs.
“We didn’t feel like we needed to celebrate Tuesday night and weren’t in the mood to do it Friday night,” Nordin said. “We’ve played really well for about a month. Baseball won’t let you win them all, and I expect we’ll play well again this weekend. Being a district champion is hard to do. They’ve worked for it and wanted it to happen and we feel like we’ve accomplished something. We’ll pick ourselves up and go back to work today.”
Farmersville draws Mabank in the bi-district round of the state playoffs. The Panthers finished third in District 14-4A with a 5-5 record but finished below .500 for the regular season. While he hasn’t had a chance to scout his opponent yet, coach Nordin is expecting the game to be similar to their other tough battles this season.
“I didn’t get a chance to see Mabank, but my guess is that the games will be similar to our games against Sunnyvale, Kaufman, and Community,” Nordin said. “If we continue to play well, we’ll be right there with a chance to win. We wanted to win a district championship, but we’ve also talked all year about winning playoff games, so our guys will be plenty motivated.”
Earlier in the week, Farmersville defeated Community in game one by a score of 5-1 to clinch their share of the championship on April 26. Collin Berry hurled six innings of shutout baseball while surrendering just one hit in the game. Mason Erwin got the save, despite giving up a late run in the seventh. Expect the pitching staff to help carry Farmersville in the postseason, after the team finished the year with an ERA of 3.17. Coach Nordin said he trusts any of his pitchers to perform in a big situation.
“We don’t need to do anything different than we’ve been doing,” Nordin said. “Our pitchers need to compete and throw a lot of strikes. We need to do a good job of playing catch and make routine plays and get those timely hits when we have a chance to do damage. We’re not sure how we’re going to pitch it yet, but Caden, Collin, Cooper and Mason will throw the bulk of the innings.”
Game one of the three-game series will be 7 p.m. Friday night, May 6. Game two will be the following day at 1 p.m. while game three (if necessary) will start immediately after two.
All games will be played at Copeland Field in Mesquite.
To read the full story, see next week’s issue of The Farmersville Times. Support your community newspaper for less than $40 a year.
By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]