Strainfall: Weather puts Wildcats in must-win hole against Bell
The Plano Senior baseball team's margin for error this postseason just reduced significantly.
Already tasked with overcoming a three-run deficit through 1.1 innings against L.D. Bell Friday, the Wildcats saw rainfall wash away what was originally a best-of-3 series against the Raiders, suspending play and now leaving both teams with a one-game area playoff Saturday at 3 p.m. from Kelly Field in Carrollton (results not available at press time).
Even more unsettling for the Wildcats is that Bell's 4-1 lead at the time of suspension will be upheld when play resumes Saturday.
"It's 4-1, [Hurst] has runners on first and second with one out," said Rick Robertson, Plano head coach. "It's not what we wanted to do, but we weren't going to be able to fit in a game [Friday night]. By rule, it then goes to a one-game series."
It'll at least give the Wildcats a chance to sleep on one of the more unsettling starts to a game this season, as Bell capitalized on a pair of Plano errors and three hits for a 3-0 start in the first inning. A double steal by Taylor Empkey and Trevor Podsednik worked in Bell's favor with the former stealing home and the latter capitalizing on an error by Plano junior Michael Crawford for a 2-0 lead.
Cullen Gassaway extended the lead by scoring on a passed ball from senior Connor Reed shortly afterwards, making it 3-0.
"It was very uncharacteristic of us," Robertson said. "Anything that could go wrong went wrong, but we got out of it and got a run back. We just need to put it behind us and come out [on Saturday] and play like we play."
The Wildcats countered with some crafty baserunning of their own, with senior Matt McLean and sophomore Connor Brady teaming up for a double steal that ended with the former crossing home to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
The Raiders matched that with a run in the top of the second after Empkey scored following an error by freshman Mitchell Hansen.
With Gavin Gregory on second and Podsednik on first, play was suspended with Gassaway at the plate -- a scenario that will be replicated Saturday afternoon when the two teams resume play in what will be the only meeting between Plano and Bell this postseason.
"There's no margin for error," Robertson said.