Valley View head coach Kim Nix and the Eagles weren’t exactly thrilled that they were forced to play a single-game series against Say Rayburn in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Normally teams want a three-game series to let their pitching talent have an opportunity to pitch, but Valley View lost their coin flip and faced Sam Rayburn in a win-or-go-home situation.
Valley View jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but Sam Rayburn used a three-run second inning to claim a 3-2 advantage.
The Eagles responded in the third inning with three more runs to take command and ride out a 6-3 victory on May 3 to advance to the area round against Muenster.
“Sam Rayburn did not make an error and they played good defense,” Nix said. “We hit a batter. We walked them and then we have an error, which scored two runs and then they got the other run when we should have been out of the inning. We hit the ball real well against them. We played small ball and we had a three-run home run, which kind of saved us.”
The Eagles made a point to go back to the basics defensively and they worked on situational awareness in much of their practices this week.
“Yeah, we worked on situations and we hit both cage,” Nix said. “We had live arm and machine. And we had the infield work and we hit the outfield and then vice versa. Then we all got together and we got some things done. It wasn’t as sharp as I thought it was.”
The Eagles have a tough draw in the area round as they earned a three-game series against Muenster, which played in the state championship game the past two seasons and won a state title in 2017.
Nix knows it’s a difficult challenge, so the message to his team was playing error-free baseball.
“We need to take advantage of what Muenster gives us unless you’re an excellent team,” Nix said. “They won state two years ago and they were in the final game last year. So I mean, what can you say. They’ve still got some of the same kids and everything. So they’re used to winning.”
Game 1 will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Bowie with Game 2 at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10. Game 3 will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11, if necessary.
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip