BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
After a 1-8 start it appeared like Dublin was headed toward a season to forget, and now they stand two wins away from making the deepest run in modern school history if they win their best-of-three Area title series against Tolar.
“We made some personnel changes and mixed some things up,” Coach Kellen Cervetto said. “Believe it or not things kind of started coming together for us after a loss to Brady 2-0 and they were district champs.”
The loss seemed to propel the Lions into a different mode, and Dublin had a different attitude headed into their road game against Coleman.
“Coleman has always been a hard place to play,” Cervetto said. “They play at 4 pm, and they don’t have any lights, and that’s out of the norm for us. We end up winning that game 9-8.”
Cervetto described the win as like “winning a district championship” as his athletes were full of confidence. Dublin started rolling beating Bangs, Early (a team they lost to 16-8 earlier in the season) Brady and Comanche.
From a 1-4 first-half start in district, the Lions turned things around going 5-0 and haven’t looked back.
“Our start is late, but it’s better than never,” Cervetto laughs before his mood turns serious. “HEY SWING THAT BAT!”
Dublin has used it preparation wisely taking on #10 Hawley beating them in a warmup game and which also allowed them to get used to their playoff site.
The Lions played nothing like a third-place district team as they knocked off Coahoma last week in the bi-district round winning game one 4-3 and game two wasn’t even close as Dublin rattled off an 11-1 win.
“We’ve got a little bit of momentum going into our games against Tolar,” Cervetto said. “They are good, and they are in the second round of the playoffs for a reason.”
The Rattlers are coming off a tight 8-7 win over Halliday and are similar to Dublin in the fact they are also a team that has gained ground over the last half of their district season.
Dublin has a little bit of history to play for here as no team in recent memory has made it past the area round of the playoffs.
“That’s something these guys would like to do,” Cervetto said. “That would be special for all of us!”
After discussion between the coaching staffs this week it was decided the teams would play a best-of-three series with the opening game scheduled for Thursday night at 7 pm in Tolar. Friday the Lions will return home for game two that is scheduled for 5 pm and if a game three is needed it will follow immediately after.