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Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

Steep hills to climb

Farmers battle through last week of non-district games with district opener against Plano East approaching
Ruben Plascencia
Junior Jacob Gallegos anticipates the ball during the game against The Colony on Feb. 23.

Facing a slow start to the season, the varsity baseball team stays hopeful at 3-6 with immediately tougher district series’ starting next week. 

“I like where our pitching’s going,” head coach Stephen Campbell said. “Sometimes, you’re going to have off weeks at the plate, and that’s what happened last week.”

The Farmers played three games last week, coming out 1-2 after “[beating] the breaks off of Grand Prairie” 11-1 before being shut out 4-0 against Irving Nimitz and 2-0 against Mansfield Timberview. All three performances inspired confidence, however, especially junior pitcher Trenton Brantley’s six innings without allowing a run against the Timberview Wolves.

“We’ve just got to get more pitches in the strike zone and not walk as many players,” Brantley said. “We’ve got a good pitching staff, and the biggest positive is we never quit on a play.”

The team now enters its final slate of non-district games, with doubleheaders on Thursday and Saturday along with a game against North Mesquite on Friday, March 8. District play begins next week against Plano East, at the Panthers on Wednesday, March 13 and at home on Friday, March 15, starting at 7:30 p.m. for both games. The latter will be the Farmers’ first home game since Saturday, Feb. 24. 

“High school baseball games aren’t really won, they’re lost,” junior outfielder Jaxon Markhom said. “It’s on whoever makes the least amount of mistakes. When we go into this district, we know we virtually can’t make any mistakes because all those teams will take advantage of anything we mess up on. We need to hop on them if they make an error too, and if we have a guy on base, we need to score.”

The team has recognized its struggle to follow through with runners in scoring position. Last week, it may have changed the outcome of games, with the defense holding opponents to seven runs over three games. 

“We’re stealing a lot of bases right now,” Campbell said. “I really like that we’re doing that, but we’ve got to hit when we’ve got guys on base. We have to get more runs in.” 

Three of this week’s five opponents have a winning record this season, though North Mesquite (5-3) is a 5A competitor. The team’s exposure to winning teams will help identify areas of improvement with back to back series against 9-1-1 Plano East and reigning 6A state champion Flower Mound, currently 9-2, looming. 

“For every game, you’ve got to crawl before you can start walking, then after that start running,” Brantley said. “We start working on our game outside of school, then bring it back in as a team and help each other out. We have a lot of players who can get on base, get runs, get people out on defense, but we all need to communicate more to be better at doing that. Then, I think we’ll have a chance to fight for a district championship.”

The pieces are in place, and Markham believes the new roster’s team chemistry “is stronger in lots of ways,” but the young roster will have to prove itself almost immediately. The Plano East team it’ll face during spring break is far removed from last year’s 5-21-2 Panthers team which the Farmers swept (9-3, 6-3). 

“It was senior heavy last year,” Markham said. “The younger guys are stepping up and doing most of the work right now. Our middle infield is phenomenal, and they make all the plays no one expects us to make. The outfield can track down any ball that gets hit out there. We’ve also got a lot of speed [on the offense], so we just need to clean up all the details and we’ll be pretty good.”

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