PORT NECHES —
Game 1: 7 p.m. Thursday
Game 2: 7 p.m. Friday
Game 3: 1 p.m. Saturday*
All games played at Baytown Sterling High School
BAYTOWN — It is time to forget and move on for the Port Neches-Groves Indians baseball team.
Forget the fact the Indians started District 20-4A with a 6-0 record. Forget that PN-G ended up finishing league play with a 10-4 mark, good enough for a third place finish.
None of that matters now that it is playoff time for these Indians under first-year coach Scott Carter. Carter’s Indians are set to play 19-4A’s Crosby. The Cougars come into the bi-district round with a 17-9 record overall and were 12-4 in district play.
PN-G (15-11) and Crosby will start the series at 7 p.m. Thursday with Game 2 set for 7 p.m. Friday. Game 3, if necessary, will be at 1 p.m. Saturday. All games will be played at Baytown Sterling High School.
The Indians grabbed the third place spot with a 6-4 win over Livingston this past Friday. It was a critical game for Carter and the Indians, considering the Lions are also headed to the playoffs.
“We treated the Livingston game just like a playoff game,” Carter said. “Livingston was our first district loss after starting 6-0. We hope that win gets us back on track.”
PN-G’s strength remains its pitching. The Indians have a team ERA of 2.15 and have struck out 249 batters with 83 walks. PN-G’s staff had its struggles down the stretch but Carter quickly fended off the notion that Indians pitchers are tired.
“I am not sure they were tired in any way,” Carter said. “They have all had some rest. It really comes down to that when pitching in 20-4A you have to bring your A game each day. There were some nights we didn’t do that. Now we have a chance to do what we can and hope the pitchers come out and pitch the way we are capable of pitching each game.”
The Indians offense did not put up mammoth numbers this season. PN-G is batting .285 with 191 runs and an on base percentage of .383.
There were several games this year, including a home game against both Lumberton and Nederland, when Indian batters showed little patience at the plate.
“We have worked real hard to get that corrected,” Carter said. “I think we have done a better job of that over the last several games. Now we hope it continues into the playoffs.”
PN-G did put up eight hits against Vidor’s Eric Foshee late in the season and had quality at bats against Livingston to end the 20-4A schedule.
“We don’t know much about Crosby,” Carter said. “We just know we have to show up and take care of our business. District 20-4A was very competitive this year. We finished third and were one game behind first place. We are glad to still be playing baseball.
“District 19-4A is just the same as 20-4A. They mirror each other in a lot of ways. They had two teams tie for first. It is just as competitive a district as we play in. We hope this series is just as competitive. We want to get there and get two wins. That is all that matters. It doesn’t matter how we get them, we just have to get them.”