For Paschal coach Darrell Preston, there is one player at the center of his game plan Saturday: Arlington Martin pitcher Eric Walker.
“Every at-bat is going to be a battle against Walker,” said Preston. “He’s committed to LSU for a reason.
“He’s not going to make many mistakes, and when he does if you don’t capitalize on it, you may not get another one.”
The Panthers (11-9, 7-4, Dist. 4-6A) face the Arlington Martin Warriors (13-3, 10-1) at home Saturday at 7 p.m. The game was rescheduled from Friday night due to thunderstorms in the forecast.
The Warriors are currently leading the district, with their only district loss coming early this season against Arlington Lamar.
Preston said that the Warriors’ reputation precedes them.
“With Martin, they’re just solid all the way around,” said Preston. “As far as their pitching and defense, they always have solid guys everywhere. We’ve got a lot of respect for Walker, Coach Culbertson and their whole program.”
One of the keys to Paschal’s success will be fixing problems the team has faced in past games.
“Well first off, we’ve got to play well defensively,” said Preston. “We can’t give them extra outs. The other day against Lamar, we had to get 37 outs in the game with all of our walks and errors.”
However, Preston said that in order to win, his team needs to compete at the plate.
“Most importantly, it comes down to our offensive guys,” said Preston. “We’ve got to win some battles, refuse to strike out and put the ball in play as much as possible.
“Make them work to get those outs,” he said. “We’ve got to go out there and win some individual battles at the plate, and never give in.”
Amanda Hernandez is a sports reporter for The 109. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.