Indians baseball gears up for showdown with Fulshear

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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Port Neches-Groves baseball might not be favored by the public to win the postseason series against Fulshear, but that doesn’t mean the Indians expect to lose.

PNG enters the series at 22-11 this season and coming off a 2-1 series win over La Porte.

The Indians dropped Game 1 by a 5-3 margin but roared back in the second game with a 12-2 victory with a run rule in the fifth inning. The squad wrapped up the series Saturday with a 3-1 win.

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Now, the best-of-three area round series starts Thursday at Crosby High School at 7 p.m.

Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, and Game 3, if needed, is going to be played at 2 p.m. Saturday.

PNG coach Scott Carter said while the masses might see his team as underdogs, the Indians do not see it that way.

“I think a poll is just that, it is somebody’s opinion,” he said. “I don’t think we are underdogs because I think we have a chance to go out and play. If we do what we are supposed to do, I think we have a strong shot of advancing. That is the plan and what we are going to talk about.”

Carter knew his team had potential at the end of last season and heading into this year.

Reid Richard and Chase Johnson talk during Indians baseball action. (Mike Tobias/NDN Press)

“This has been a total team effort,” he said. “Everyone has had a role at different times. Reid Richard and Sean Gardiner have pretty much lead the team in hitting throughout the season. As district rolled in, Eli Curtis and Mason Wuenschel have been our stronger hitters. Curtis and Kooper Benoit are 10th graders and our two starting pitchers. They have been a bit of a driving force. Kale Cropper has also come on late for us as a pitcher and closer. We can put him in the ball game at anytime. We like the way this team has come together.”

Carter said the young pitching is handling big games excitement quite well.

“They have done an outstanding job,” Carter said. “Curtis is committed to Arizona State and has a brother that pitches for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has been around the game and understands it. I don’t think the game is ever too big for him. Same thing with Kooper. He was Newcomer of the Year last year as a freshman. He just has the heart of a lion. Our two sophomore pitchers have been really good for us.”

Fulshear enters the game as the No. 19th-ranked team in Texas and the coach said the keys to success are in their hands.

“We have to go out, put the ball in play and execute,” Carter said. “We have to score a few runs and let our pitchers play ball and see what happens. We will see where the chips fall. We are excited about it.”