Baseball advances to playoffs, to play Prosper May 5-7


Hyunsol Lim

Senior Grant Johnson waits to bat during the team’s game against Plano West on April 19. Johnson has had three grand slams this season.

After winning its last district game against Lewisville, the baseball team advanced to the first round of playoffs. The team will play Proper in a three-game series on May 5-7. The team that wins the best two out of three will advance to the area bracket. The games will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and at 1 p.m. on Saturday. All games will take place at Newman Smith High School. 

“Not too long ago, we were last [in the district,] and it was looking grim for our season,” third baseman Nicholas Fletcher said. “There wasn’t a lot of hope, but we were able to pull through. Winning the last [district] game was a pretty great feeling, especially because it’s my last season on the team.”

The team’s last district game took place on April 29. The Hawks beat Lewisville 8-0. 

“[This year, the team] was younger,” head coach Steve Stone said. “We had a lot of guys that haven’t necessarily played on varsity before. That made it somewhat challenging, but at the same time, we have some good talent [within] the kids and sometimes that just takes [time] to mesh when they haven’t done it before. We’ve gotten off to a slow start and hit our stride here in the last few weeks.”

Baseball ended its district season with a four-game win streak against Plano West, Bell and Lewisville High Schools. Prior to the team’s four-game win streak, they had been on a four-game losing streak to Marcus and Coppell. 

“The biggest game so far was the first game against Plano West,” Stone said. “We found ourselves down 5-1 in the sixth inning, [and we knew] if we lost, we were out of the playoffs. We found a way to take that game to extra innings and win. That game is what we built our momentum from and got us going.”

Following the team’s win streak, baseball secured the final spot in playoffs as the No. 4 team in the district. Prosper ended its district season ranked first in their district, and their current record is 20-9. The Hawks’ current record is 13-16-1. 

“It’s going to be tough, but we’re up for the challenge,” Fletcher said. “[Prosper] has some talent. Our coach has told us the way we’re going to win is by fundamentally playing baseball.”

For the 2020-21 season, the team advanced to playoffs and faced Prosper in the first round. The team ended up losing two out of three games, 10-2 and 10-1, and were eliminated from the playoff bracket. 

“[Last year] we ended up losing to Prosper, so everyone’s pretty amped,” centerfield Lane Haworth said. “[We’ll] just go in there, give it the best we’ve got and hopefully come out with a win. I think everyone realizes that we have a chance to go pretty far: we just have to get through this week, and [then] we should be on a roll.”

According to Hebron’s all-time game record, the Hawks have only ever played two games against Prosper and lost both. 

“Our goal is always to be the best version of ourselves,” Stone said. “Once you make the playoffs, anything can happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re first or fourth, once you start that new season, anything can happen. We control our own destiny [and] we don’t need to wait for something to happen [for us to be successful].”