MAYPEARL — A week ago, Maypearl High School escaped the bi-district round of the UIL 3A playoffs, beating Buffalo High School 8-6and 7-4 in two games at the Waco ISD Sports Complex and claimed the first area round berth since the 2014 season.
On Friday, though, they face a team responsible for buying a state-ranked-caliber opponent, Rogers High School, a do-not-pass-go, do-not-collect $200 ticket out of the postseason.
Clifton, not including knocking off Rogers in consecutive games, won six of its last 10 games by an average 5.6 run margin. Maypearl's Panthers, though, have allowed five or more runs only eight times in 25 games.
Dakota Davis, the expected starter and staff ace, leads the team in strikeouts (71), ERA (1.30) and WHIP (1.254). Lonnie Brooks, slated to pitch game No. 2, leads Maypearl in hits allowed (39) and holds a 1.38 ERA.
The Panthers will start the three-game series at 6 p.m. Friday at Waco ISD Sports Complex Field. The second game of the series will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Sports Complex Field 1. If a third game is needed, it will be played 30 minutes after game No. 2.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Maypearl, with a win, would reach the regional quarterfinal round for the first time in more than a decade. They lost back-to-back area round series to Brock High School in 2007 and 2008 under former coach Kevin Bartley. They would also earn a shot at the Groesbeck-Leon victor.
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The complete story can be found online after the game and in the Sunday edition of the Waxahachie Daily Light. Fans can follow the game live on social media by following the Waxahachie Daily Light (@WaxahachieNews), Daily Light Sports Editor (@MarcusMarionWNI) or #DailyLightSports.
Tickets will be available at the entry gate of the Waco ISD Sports Complex.
INSIDE THE PANTHERS
Maypearl enters the game weaponized with arguably two of the best pitchers in District 17-3A, one of the best leadoff hitters in the state and a two-game win streak under its belt. They also have scored 174 runs in 25 games (7 rpg) via home runs by Chase Reeher (3), Lonnie Brooks (2), Cole Maxwell (1) and Dakota Davis (1).