Cy Falls in the baseball playoff fight
CY FALLS FILE
Mascot: Golden Eagles
District 15-5A opponents: Cy Woods, Cy-Fair, Cy Creek, Cy Ridge, Langham Creek, Jersey Village, Cy Springs, Cy Lakes, Cy Ranch.
Coach: Carl McClosky
Coming up: Cy Falls travels to face powerful Cy-Fair at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Of note: The Golden Eagles are trying to outduel Cy-Fair and Cy Woods for the District 15-5A championship.
By TODD HVEEM
With five games left in the regular season, the Cy Falls Golden Eagles found themselves in a three-way tie with Cy-Fair and Cy Woods atop the District 15-5A baseball standings.
Cy-Fair, which has won five straight district titles, and Cy Woods, which finished second a year ago, were supposed to be there.
Cy Falls was not.
Coming into this year, not a lot of people were expecting us to do much,'' said Carl McClosky, who was Cy Falls' pitching coach for six years before taking over the program in 2006.
But we have almost our entire roster back from last year. We only graduated one senior (in 2009) in D.J. Smith.''
Trouble is, Cy Falls won only nine games during the 2009 season.
We have had kids who have been forced to come up and play (a little too early) the last couple years,'' admitted McClosky. For the first time in four years, we have a full senior class. That makes a difference. Plus, we lost a lot of one-run games last year.''
Now, Cy Falls is winning the close contests. In fact, the Golden Eagles are winning almost every contest.
Cy Falls was a brilliant 20-3 entering the final six games of the season, including 9-2 in league play. Its only district losses have come against Cy Woods and Jersey Village. Its other loss was to Nederland.
We had high expectations for ourselves coming into the season,'' admitted McClosky. We always believed in ourselves. There is a big difference this year as to how we have approached the game. A lot of kids have bought into the team atmosphere. That is a credit to them. It has been a joy to be at the park every day. It has been fun. I am very proud of the kids.''
Cy Falls, which missed the playoffs a year ago, beat five-time defending-champion Cy-Fair in the first round of district play. It will get a chance to sweep the Bobcats on Tuesday.
Anything can happen on any night,'' McClosky said. I hope we still have a chance to play for the title. These kids deserve that.''
Cy Falls also split a pair of games with Cy Woods. All three teams were 9-2 in the league entering the home stretch.
Cy-Fair and Cy Woods split their two games, so, in a sense, we control our own destiny,'' McClosky said. In the history of the school, we have never missed the playoffs two years in a row. We put that challenge to the kids (before the start of the season). We have lived by the motto it is not how you start, it is how you finish.''
Center fielder Jared Brown, who did not get a chance to hit much in 2009, hit a two-run home run against Langham Creek earlier in district play.
We DH for him last year and this year we put him spots to get a big hit,'' McClosky said. He is having a great year for us.''
Jake Wise, who has signed with Arkansas, also has eight home runs.
What makes him so good is the trust he has in his teammates,'' McClosky said. He has walked more this year than he has in the past two years combined.''
Senior Hunter Lemke has been part of the program since he was a bat boy at the age of 5, McClosky said.
He has signed with Navarro Junior College, but he also is being looked at by Texas Tech and the University of Houston,'' McClosky said. He has really come on.''
Matt Sherman also has moved from third base to first base, and left fielder Garrett Stricklen leads the club with a .449 batting average.
Garrett has come out of nowhere to be an amazing leader on this team,'' McClosky said. We just have an amazing group of seniors.''
Designated hitter Scott Stanley, who had four RBIs in the win over Cy Woods, also is hitting .439.
The team success has seemed to breed individual success,'' McClosky said.
Jake Waldrep also came on to get a key out against Cy Ranch, while Horacio Correa struck out 14 batters in a game.
Juniors Taylor Buckles and Jeffrey Phillips also have had outstanding years, McClosky said.
I think they have really started to feed off the older guys,'' McClosky said. It is a fun environment right now. I hope we can keep it right on going (through the playoffs).''