The playoffs started early for the Douglas County baseball team.
The Huskies found themselves in a do-or-die situation on May 2 when they hosted cross-town rival Castle View; win, and Douglas County lived to play another day. Lose, and the Huskies could start cleaning out their lockers.
Cleaning day can wait for awhile. Douglas County secured its spot in this weeks postseason with a convincing 13-0 victory over the Sabercats, needing only five innings to punch its playoff ticket.
The Huskies (13-6) earned the No. 21 seed and will take on No. 12 Brighton at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the District 4 semifinals at Legend High School. The winner of that game will face the winner of Legend/Prairie View later in the day for the right to advance to next week’s double-elimination state tournament.
In the win over Castle View (9-10), Douglas County broke out the big bats, smashing three home runs, two in the second inning alone, and three doubles.
“I’m just really proud of my team in the way that they took the field with so much energy and determination,” Huskies coach Mark Roberts said.
Douglas County brings a .362 batting average into the playoffs, so the Huskies are used to hitting the ball on a regular basis.
Roberts said he didn’t feel the team’s high energy output was a result of playing its cross-town rival in the final Continental League game of the season but more so a need to earn a spot in the district playoffs.
“Yes, CastleView is a rivalry, but I know my team pretty well now,” Roberts said. “I know that they would have come out strong against any other Continental League team where there was playoff implications on the line.”
Given every league contest is a dog fight, the entire season has served as indirect preparation for the Huskies’ district post-season May 12.
“We’ve seen some of the best pitchers in the state, and we’ve played against some of the best position players in the state,” Roberts said. “Having the ability to adjust to the top level of play will serve as a confidence builder for us in our post-season play.”
Roberts said win-or-lose he’s excited to see the Huskies competing so well this year.
Douglas County baseball hasn’t been in the district tournament for 10 years, and it hasn’t won 11 or more games in 12 years. After the win over the Sabercats, the Huskies went 13-6 on the season.
“It’s pretty exciting times at DCHS,” the coach said.
Against Castle View, Codi Guillory went 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run, a double and three RBI. Baron Coffelt and Jordan Leinweber each went 2-for-3 at the dish with a home run and two RBI.
Austin Ludden had a double, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Austin Pitchford also connected for a two-base hit.
Castle View 000 00 - 0 1 1
Douglas County 246 10 - 13 13 2