HOUSTON – Throughout the 2016 postseason, Langham Creek has played the role of David as they have faced and toppled the Goliath’s of Class 6A Baseball en route to the UIL State Tournament.
Four times the Lobos (33-12) have been forced to play a decisive Game 3. All four times they have won.
The last feat may have been the most impressive considering the fact of whom they were facing. On the other side of the diamond, top-ranked Deer Park, which had only lost one game the entire season, had its eyes set on Austin.
Once again Langham Creek played David downing Deer Park 4-0 to punch their ticket to State.
“You know we just sat down and realized that we had to play with a lot more intensity and fire than we did in that first game,” John Michael Sopher said. “It worked out for us.”
Now entering the UIL 6A State Tournament, the Lobos will have to play that role again as they face Dallas Jesuit in the 6A State Semifinals on Friday at Dell Diamond.
The Rangers (34-8-2) are in the State Tournament for the second-straight season. Dallas Jesuit took care of business in the Region III-6A Finals on Saturday, beating Atascocita 9-1 to advance.
Dallas Jesuit enters the State Tournament with arguably the best one-two pitching punch in the state with Jacob Palisch and Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year Kyle Muller. The duo has combined to go 18-1 this season with a 0.69 ERA, 244 strikeouts and 30 walks in 26 appearances. In the postseason, Palisch and Muller have gone 6-1 with a 0.85 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings of work.
Along with his dominance on the mound, Muller leads Dallas Jesuit in almost every offensive category. The senior enters the State Tournament batting .396 with 52 RBIs, five triples, 15 home runs and eight doubles, while slugging .849. Muller was presented the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year Award earlier this week by World Series MVP and current Texas Ranger Cole Hamels.
Behind Muller, Dallas Jesuit’s Jared Bond enters the tournament batting .252 with 31 RBIs and seven home runs for the season.
Last season, the Rangers ended their season in the State Semifinals falling to Cypress Ranch 2-1 and now have a chance for redemption in 2016.
“It’s pretty amazing actually,” Dallas Jesuit coach Brian Jones said about making it to State again. “I mean obviously to be in this situation last year to be there for the first time in the school’s history was a feat in itself. To be able to go anytime, whether it is back to back (or not), obviously it is a wonderful feeling.”
For Langham Creek this is the first time the program has gone to the State Tournament.
“Not only for this program but our community is such big baseball people,” Langham Creek coach Armando Sedeno said. “Our district is such a big baseball district. Three out of the last seven years the State Champion has come out of this district … Just a tremendous feeling for our community, our school and our players.”
Langham Creek will face Dallas Jesuit on Friday at Noon at Dell Diamond. First pitch is slated for Noon. The broadcast can be heard live on TexanLive.com.