A return trip to the Class 4A regional baseball semifinals did not seem to be in the cards for Waxahachie.
The Indians were faced with the daunting task of beating Corsicana in a best-of-3 regional quarterfinal series after losing twice to the 15-4A champion in district play. One of those defeats was a no-hitter in which Corsicana run-ruled Waxahachie, 10-0.
It appeared to be more of the same after the first game of the playoff series, a 3-2 Corsicana win. However, Waxahachie won the final two games in Corsicana to take the series.
"It's a different time of the year," Waxahachie coach Tracy Wood said. "We're playing better baseball. It came down to them making more mistakes when it was time. We'll take district losses to still be playing now."
While Waxahachie is making a second consecutive trip to the regional semifinals, it is by no means the same team that was knocked out by Rockwall-Heath just a round short of state. The Indians returned just four players from last year's squad.
The team has rallied around fundamentals, which Wood has stressed from Day 1, and depended on a committee of pitchers to make up for what they lacked in experience.
Wood started a different pitcher in the first game of every series Waxahachie has played so far this playoff season. David Marinelli, the starter in the opener of the last series, had just one start in the regular season.
"It was a gut feeling," Wood said. "Just a hunch I had and he did a good job. We have different guys getting it done for us for sure."
Waxahachie now has Frisco Wakeland in its sights. Wakeland knocked Highland Park out of the playoffs last week for the third consecutive season.
Wood says his team's success comes down to minimizing Wakeland standout Willie Schwanke in the series either on the mound or at the plate.
"He's their best player for sure," Wood said. "He's the guy you don't let beat you."
The series begins Thursday night in Waxahachie and will be completed Saturday at Frisco's Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Martin moves up in national rankings
Arlington Martin stands firm at No. 10 in the ESPNHS Fab 50 rankings, moving up two spots after its regional quarterfinal win over Lubbock Coronado.
Martin faces Hurst L.D. Bell in the regional semis this weekend.