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Lamar ignores preseason forecasts, turns into state's No. 1 team

05/07/2017, 6:30pm CDT
By Jason McDaniel

Texans began season unranked but start postseason as 6A's No. 1 team

Lamar was the ultimate underdog.

It returned only two players and lost eight to college teams, including pitchers John Doxakis (Texas A&M), Jimmy Winston (Baylor) and Mark Tindall (Trinity), and catcher Charlie Bartlett (Houston).

Now it's expected to topple any and all comers.

The Texans, unranked in the preseason, enter the postseason as Texas High School Baseball's No. 1 Class 6A team after steadily climbing the ranks all season with chemistry and determination.

"The senior class took it upon themselves to be as competitive as possible," coach David Munoz said. "The challenge at the start of the year was to play good baseball, and the kids didn't see this as a rebuilding year.

"They thought we could step up, and we believed we had the pitching and defense to compete."

Munoz prefers the underdog role. It relieves pressure and puts a target on the other guy's back, and everybody wants to bring down Goliath.

But he's also proud of their accomplishments and says they understand that rankings create energy and excitement - two things on which they thrive - but they don't win ballgames. That sentiment is courtesy of the leadership of his returners, seniors Owen Holt and Cameron Gibbons.

\"We talk about rankings," Munoz said. "The kids bring it up.

"But Owen Holt sent a group text to the kids saying rankings are great, but it's like trying to have dessert before you eat dinner.

"Let's finish dinner and then have dessert."

Perfect district run

The results indicate they understand the process - and know when it's time to eat.

Without a marquee Division I player - Holt's headed to Harvard for football and Gibbons signed with Blinn - the Texans (25-2-1) one-upped last year's club, equaling its win total before the playoffs and going undefeated in District 18-6A en route to their first title since 2013.

"It was good to win it this year," Munoz said. "It was unexpected, but the kids have done a great job going game-to-game, and it's not easy. I know people say it's HISD, but it's not easy going 14-0.

"It's never easy to run your district."

The Houston ISD doubt underlines the big question - were the Texans tested enough?

Munoz says yes.

He doesn't believe HISD baseball is as bad as people think, and regardless, their non-district slate, with games against Coppell, Georgetown and Brenham, prepared them for playoff competition.

"Our non-district schedule was brutal," Munoz said.

the Texans possess the most important tool for postseason success - pitching depth.

Pitchers Jacob Millender, Michael Streitman and Lawrence Sandoval are the consistent starters, Barron Brown and Jacob Rothenberg are effective relievers, and Holt loves closing close contests.

Together, they produced eight shutouts and three one-run performances.

Millender fanned 15 in a 3-0 win over Bellaire on April 21. He's a 6-4, 215-pound righthander with a 90 mph fastball who Munoz expects will end up playing Division I baseball.

"He's very projectable," Munoz said. "He's a big kid, throws hard, and has a great curveball."

Not shabby at the plate

The Texans swing it, too.

Holt, a vocal leader who mans first and bats cleanup, boasts a .396 batting average with 22 RBIs and five home runs, and Gibbons, a shortstop and leader by example, is hitting .400 batting third.

Holt and Streitman, a pitcher/DH hitting .457, pace the team in two-out RBIs.

Second baseman Chris Gutierrez, the leadoff batter, is hitting .400 with just four strikeouts in 96 at-bats.

"Between Gibbons and Gutierrez … we've got close to 200 at-bats, and they have less than 10 strikeouts combined," Munoz said.

Pitching, clutch hitting, solid defense - that's why they're a consensus No. 1.

Not only are they Texas High School Baseball's No. 1, they're the top-ranked team in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association's 6A poll - and fifth in MaxPreps' Xcellent 25 national rankings.

Now it's time to play like favorites in their favorite time of the year. Lamar opens the playoffs in a bi-district series with Cypress Falls, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at Cy-Fair.

"I'm hoping we play good baseball," Munoz said. "Everybody in Cy-Fair plays the game well, so we're going to have to have our 'A' game. If we continue to do the things we've done all year, in three games, hopefully pitching will give us an advantage."

 

Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer.

Texas Prep Baseball, H6AB-H5AB Team of the Week-5-2017

03/28/2017, 8:00am CDT
By Texas Prep Baseball

The Lamar Texans did nothing but cement further, their #2 ranking in 6A with their performance in week-5. 

The Houston Lamar Texans varsity baseball team (16-2-1, 5-0) won four conference games this week and ended a suspended game ahead 6-4 in the 6th inning.  Here are the details. 

On 3/20/2017, the Houston Lamar Texans varsity baseball team played a District 18-6a conference game against the Westbury Huskies.  The Houston Lamar Texans won 10-2. 

On 3/22/2017, the Houston Lamar Texans varsity baseball team played a District 18-6a conference game against the Bellaire Cardinals.  The Houston Lamar Texans won 2-0. 

On 3/23/2017, the Houston Lamar Texans varsity baseball team played a District 18-6a conference game against the Chavez Lobos.  The Houston Lamar Texans won 7-2. 

On 3/24/2017, the Houston Lamar Texans varsity baseball team played a District 18-6a conference game against the Westside Wolves.  The score was Lamar ahead 6-4 with Lamar about to bat in the bottom of the 6th inning.  The game was suspended due to lightning and rain.  The date of completion for that game is not yet known. 

On 3/25/2017, the Houston Lamar Texans varsity baseball team played a District 18-6a conference game against the Sam Houston MSTC Tigers.  The Lamar Texans won 15-0 in a run-rule shortened 3 innings.

 

Congratulations to Coach Munoz and the entire Lamar Texans Baseball Program

Baseball’s Cascadden Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week
JUCO shortstop earns weekly honor after big week, walk-off grand slam

 

March 6, 2017

IRVING, Texas – Baylor baseball junior JUCO transfer shortstop Tucker Cascadden was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, the league announced Monday.

The Houston native went 4-for-13 (.308) in BU’s 3-1 week with a walk-off grand slam, two runs, one double, six RBI and one walk. In a win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff last Tuesday, he was 1-for-5 with an RBI and run. In last Friday’s win over No. 9 Ole Miss, he went 1-for-2 with a double and RBI. In Sunday’s win over No. 11 Texas A&M, he went 2-for-3 with a run, walk and four RBI on a walk-off grand slam. He had an RBI in BU's first 10 games and has one in 11 of 12 games (16 total RBI).

A transfer from San Jacinto Junior College, Cascadden had Baylor’s first walk-off hit since Steven McLean’s single vs. Incarnate Word on April 27, 2016, first walk-off home run since Cal Towey vs. Oklahoma on April 12, 2013 and first grand slam since Towey vs. Oklahoma on April 14, 2013. The blast was his first home run as a Bear while he posted a career-high four RBI, third multi-RBI game and second multi-hit game.

Cascadden’s recognition is the first this season for Baylor, fifth Big 12 weekly honor under second-year head coach Steve Rodriguez and first Newcomer of the Week nod since Josh Bissonette on March 28, 2016.

 

-BU-