Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Text Size

Sports

Smith and Bickerton – In their words, Part 1

20190606 SharylandPioneerCoachesThe remarkable season for Sharyland ISD baseball is over. The Rattlers and the Diamondbacks went where no two Valley teams have gone before, a head-to-head matchup in the UIL’s regional finals between two teams from the same school district. And while their respective paths during this historic season were similar, they each had different obstacles and challenges to overcome along the way.

One of the similarities that both teams had was great coaching. While it is the players that ultimately have to perform on the field, it is the coaching that gets the most out of each and every player, and it is the coaching that holds a team together during the rough times and keeps a team striving to excel even more during the good times.

In the case of the Rattlers and the Diamondbacks, it was the latter of these two scenarios that coaches Bart Bickerton and Casey Smith mastered this season. While most Valley teams falter once they’re matched up against teams from the Corpus Christi area and beyond, Bickerton and Smith both had their boys believing that they were as good as, if not better than, any team or teams in the state.

Read more: Smith and Bickerton – In their words, Part 1

Regional Final Recap – We All Won

20190606 SharylandPioneerBaseballFinaleIf you haven’t heard by now, the Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks swept past rival Sharyland Rattlers last weekend in the UIL 5A Region IV Final of the 2019 baseball playoffs. The victories last Thursday and Friday at the UTRGV baseball stadium propelled Sharyland Pioneer to a spot in the 5A state tournament in Round Rock. They were scheduled to play Georgetown last night so by the time you read this their season may be over or they could be playing tomorrow for a state championship.

Either way the Diamondbacks have had a magical season.

Of course it could have been very easy to switch everything from my opening paragraph to read Sharyland High instead of Sharyland Pioneer because last week’s regional final series marked a rare occurrence. Two teams from the same UIL district and the same school district, neighbor meeting neighbor for a spot in the state tournament. It was a matchup we should remember for many reasons, the least of which being who beat who.

Read more: Regional Final Recap – We All Won

Pioneer Falls to Georgetown

20190606 SharylandPioneervGeorgtwonEaglesThe Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks historic season ended last night in Round Rock as they were defeated by Georgetown 8-2 in the semifinal round of the UIL 5A state baseball tournament.

Already having defeated some of the state’s higher ranked teams in getting here, Pioneer quickly showed the 7,000 plus fans crowded into Dell Diamond they were up to the task against another.

A lead-off walk and two hits in the first inning gave the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead. Second baseman Juan Rivera scored when pitcher Jacob Rosales singled to left. Another walk loaded the bases but Pioneer couldn’t capitalize.

Read more: Pioneer Falls to Georgetown

Diamondbacks to play in state tournament

20190531 SPHS vs SHSrecap“We didn’t come this far to only come this far.”

That is the message on display on the electronic marquee at Pioneer High School. And while those timely words of encouragement could have been meant for graduating seniors, they are extremely well suited for the Diamondbacks baseball team. That’s because no Sharyland ISD baseball team has ever gone as far into the playoffs as the 2019 Diamondbacks have, and while qualifying for the UIL State Tournament is an extremely impressive accomplishment in-and-of itself, every single member of the team have their sights set on a much more impressive accomplishment; winning a state championship.

While their two games to none regional finals series win over the Sharyland Rattlers last week was the final step in the Diamondbacks’ long journey to the state tournament, one way or another their historic run is about to end. It may end as soon as tonight when the Diamondbacks take on the Georgetown Eagles in their one game, winner-take-all, state semifinal game. If however it does not end tonight, then it will end Saturday afternoon when the Diamondbacks take on the winner of the other state semifinal game between Colleyville Heritage and Corsicana for the UIL 5A state championship.

Read more: Diamondbacks to play in state tournament

Guide to the 5A final four baseball teams

20190530 SPHS vs SHSguideThe Pioneer Diamondbacks are in the UIL state baseball tournament. As such they are one of only four 5A baseball teams that are currently two wins away from winning the highly coveted state championship. However, each of the four teams must first win their state semifinal game to earn the right to play in the one game, winner-take-all, state championship game.

The Diamondbacks will be taking on the Georgetown Eagles in their state semifinal game tonight at 7. The other state semifinal game, being played today at 4 pm, will feature Corsicana vs Colleyville Heritage.

So let’s take a look at the four 5A teams that qualified for the state tournament and how they each earned the opportunity to compete for a state championship at Dell Diamond on this, the first week in June.

Read more: Guide to the 5A final four baseball teams