BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
By many accounts of the high school baseball “experts”, Dublin isn’t supposed to be in the third round of the Texas high school baseball playoffs but apparently, somebody forgot to mention that to the Lions.
The Lions have gone from a third-place district team to bi-district and area champions and while it may have been close they haven’t lost a playoff game either.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround that Coach Kellen Cervetto credits to some personnel and lineup changes that caused a 180-degree turn away from a 1-8 start on the year.
“The biggest thing about this team is their hearts,” Cervetto said. “These guys play for it all and they come to practice ready to work. They don’t give up.”
The Lions pair of playoff wins against Tolar are a testament to not giving up as Dublin came from behind in game one of the area series against Tolar after being down 4-1. Scoring four runs in the fourth inning the Lions took a 5-4 lead and held on even through a bases-loaded situation.
Dubin repeated their come-from-behind antics in game two taking a 6-3 lead and again holding off Tolar with the bases loaded and Tim Teten on the mound.
“As soon as we went up 6-3 I knew it was time to get Tim into the game,” Cervetto “He wants to be on the mound. We had to put in Tim in to close the last two innings. There was no way we could let them have any life going into the last inning.”
Que Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” as Teten did indeed seal the deal with a final pitch strike that was followed by a Tarzan-like yell and muscle-up as he stepped from the mound and into his jubilant teammate’s high fives.
Brock Head Baseball Coach Hart Hering has had the opportunity to take a peek at the Lions.
“Coach Cervetto has them peaking at the right time, and they put a real solid lineup on the field,” Herring said “They have two or three different arms that give them a shot to win and they have a well-balanced lineup. There are a couple of heavy hitters in the middle of the order.”
Dublin did hit the ball well against Tolar especially after adjusting to the high winds in game two. Rayce Jackson and Keith Wright had nearly identical statistics at the plate going 4-7 with three singles and one double each, but when it came to RBIs Wright had a series-high five.
“My seniors are a very special group,” Cervetto said. “I have had them for three years now and it’s paying off and we hang our hats on those kids. They have done nothing but shine in the last half of the season.”
Angel Ramirez, Blaize Leatherwood, Cameron Olvera, Wright and Jackson all had on-base percentages of better than .400 and Cervetto attributes the late season come on simply to his athletes settling into their roles.
Dublin will be putting it all on the line as they break away from the three-game series format that has served up two playoff rounds of wins thus far. The one-game format is also something new to Brock’s Eagles this playoff run and Cervetto is hoping it will be the Lions best chance to get into the next round.
It all goes on the line Friday evening at 7 pm at Weatherford Junior College.
“It’s time to rise up LION NATION!” Cervetto said.
Tolar Series Statistics