The Palmview Lobos have had a great baseball season. As they prepare for their upcoming third round playoff series, their record is 21-4-1.
Against their District 30-6A opponents the Lobos won 11 out of 12 games with their only loss coming against the McAllen High Bulldogs in the regular season finale and long after they had clinched the district title.
In the bi-district round of the playoffs the Lobos took two out of three games from Laredo United South to advance into the area round where they swept the Weslaco Panthers in two games. All-in-all Palmview has won 17 of their last 19 games.
As great a season as Palmview has had the Laredo Alexander Bulldogs have had an even better one. They’ve won 25 of their 27 games and they swept through their District 29-6A schedule with a 15-0 record.
In postseason play, the Bulldogs defeated the Nikki Rowe Warriors 12-1 in the bi-district round and took two out of three from the Edinburg North Cougars in the area round.
Alexander has been so impressive all season long that they are currently atop the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s poll as the No. 1 6A team in the state.
While district records, overall records and polls are all well and good when it comes to deciding if one team is better than the other, the best way to resolve this question is on the field. And that is what the Lobos and the Bulldogs will be doing this weekend as they go head-to-head against each other in the regional quarterfinal round of the state playoffs for the second year in a row.
“I’m not going to take anything away from Alexander,” said Palmview head coach Manuel “Ricky” Garcia. “They’re one heck of a team and that’s why they’re ranked No. 1 in the state. They’re a top-notch ball club with a great coach, but I honestly believe that we can play ball with anybody. If I didn’t believe that, then I shouldn’t be coaching.”
“As a coaching staff we spoke to our kids yesterday and we told them that this is what you want,” added Garcia. “You want to challenge yourself against the best to see where you’re at. If we want to consider ourselves one of the best teams in the Valley then we have to beat the best in the state.”
Garcia, who was vying for a one game winner-take-all playoff against Alexander, went with a best-of-three series instead because the Bulldogs’ coach offered to let him name the site of all three games if he would agree to the best-of-three format. The only caveat being that the site could not be in La Joya.
“My first thought was that he was thinking that we played in La Joya,” explained Garcia. “But that is not our home field. So while I wanted to play just one game I was willing to go best-of-three if we could play the games at the La Joya ISD baseball complex. After talking it over with Coach Garza (LJISD Athletic Director Victor Garza) I approached Coach Garcia of the Bulldogs about playing the series in La Joya. He wasn’t keen on that idea but once he understood that it is not our home field he agreed.”
Last year Alexander defeated Palmview in their one-game Regional Quarterfinal round playoff by a score of 1-0. That brought an end to the Lobos’ historic season as bi-district and area round champions. If the Lobos are going to make history again this year they will have to get past the Bulldogs and advance into the regional semifinal round where they will be playing the winner of San Antonio Reagan and Smithson Valley series.