Apr 29, 2013 11:45 PM by Drew Collins - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Tigers are in a familiar spot, but they got there in an unfamiliar way. Once again Carroll is part of the 5A State Baseball Playoff, but this season the Tigers had to claw their way in. Carroll closed the season with four-straight wins to capture the district's three seed and a post-season birth.
"It is an advantage," third baseman Andrew Heitkamp said. "We've been playing at a high intensity for a while now and it gives us a little extra. Now it's just another game and we've got to keep the intensity up and live to play another day."
The season has been a roller coaster for the young team. A hot start followed by a stretch where Carroll dropped five-straight games, including their first loss to rival King in the last nine meetings, and then the winning streak to close out the season. But the Tigers look at it this way: they're winning again - and it's coming at the right time.
"From the way we've been playing lately, we feel like we're at our best right now," center fielder Zach Alaniz said. "And this is when we should be."
The Tigers have had their fair share of recent success in the playoffs - a state championship in 2010 and two state appearances to follow. This team lost a number of starters from that run, including the 13th overall pick in the MLB Draft, Courtney Hawkins, but is just as confident.
"The whole season we have been confident and beat plenty of good teams," Heitkamp said. "We started off hot then got in a little rut but that was just youth and inexperience. Now we are bonding and the right time and everybody is confident."
The squad is poised to make another patented Tiger run and carry on the rich Carroll Baseball tradition.
"All the guys that have been through this program and made it what it is up to this point, we want to keep it going for them and for the community and everyone here at Carroll," first baseman Brandon Burns said.
The Tigers get San Antonio Taft in the opening round.
Game 1: @ Cabaniss Field, Friday 5pm
Game 2: in San Antonio, TBA
Game 3: TBA
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