SHERMAN – A strong night of pitching pushed Collinsville to the second round of the baseball playoffs Friday night.
The Pirates swept their bi-district series with Wolfe City, winning 14-4 and 6-0 in a doubleheader at Sherman High School.
Collinsville (23-5) advanced to the second round for the first time since 2004. Those Pirates advanced by defeating Cumby before falling to Maud.
Wolfe City (11-14) led 2-0 in game one but didn’t lead again the rest of the series.
Collinsville coach Derrick Jenkins said the Pirates overcame some early nerves.
“They just hadn’t seen this yet,” Jenkins said. “As we hopefully continue to play for a while, they’ll get used to what the atmosphere is. I told them today, we just don’t understand how to play the playoffs yet. Once we get to that point, these things will get better and better as we go.”
Rylan Newman pitched game one for the Pirates, and Logan Jenkins pitched game two. The pair held the Wolves to one hit apiece. Newman allowed 3 earned runs in five innings, struck out four hitters and walked five. Jenkins pitched seven shut-out innings, striking out 17 and walking two.
Logan Jenkins said he felt good about his outing.
“I thought I attacked guys well,” he said. “I thought I threw two pitches for a strike, which is very helpful. I had a lot of confidence. (I) trust my guys behind me. It’s easy to throw strikes when you got good defense playing behind you.”
Logan Jenkins, a sophomore, transferred to Collinsville over the summer. He was part of Lindsay’s starting rotation last season during the Knights’ run to the regional final. He is the only player with prior playoff experience on a team with no seniors.
He said he was able to help his teammates through their first postseason action.
“Being through it before and some of the nerves that they had coming in, I thought I was able to calm some guys down and just make the game fun again,” Jenkins said. “Because it’s just baseball at the end of the day, just with a different goal at the end.”
Wolfe City led 2-0 after the second inning in game one, but the Pirates erupted for 9 runs in the third and 5 in the fourth. Collinsville controlled game two from the start, leading 5-0 after the second.
Once Collinsville got going, it was obvious the Pirates had lost the nerves and played with a lot of joy. Game two was full of smiles and cheering as they closed in on the win.
Derrick Jenkins said he told them to enjoy the moment.
“We have a good time,” Jenkins said. “There’s no need playing this game unless you can have some fun. I tell people all the time, I coach really, really hard, but we also have that much fun when we do things. That’s what we want the dugout to be like. That’s how we play. I don’t think we could do this game if we didn’t have a lot of fun doing it.”
The Pirates will face Petrolia in the area round. Petrolia defeated Alvord in a single game 7-3 Thursday.