May 27—This season has featured a tremendous turnaround by the Collinsville Pirates, and they look to keep their historic run going this weekend.
The Collinsville baseball team will face Valley Mills in the Class 2A Region 2 semifinals Saturday at Weatherford College. The two teams will play a single game to decide who advances beginning at 7 p.m. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 of Class 2A by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association this week.
No. 7 Collinsville (26-6) has gone 5-1 thus far in the playoffs. The Pirates swept Wolfe City, beat Petrolia in a single game, then went 2-1 against Windthorst last week.
No. 6 Valley Mills (25-2) swept Lipan and Rio Vista before downing Axtell in a single game playoff.
Collinsville coach Derrick Jenkins said the Pirates must start the game strong.
"We're going to have to pitch and play defense," Jenkins said. "I think they're going to come at us. They've got some guys on the mound that do a really good job, and we're going to have to come out from the get-go and play the game. We can't start slow. We gotta start, and we gotta be ready to go from the first pitch."
After not reaching the playoffs last year, the Pirates have already shown massive improvement in their first year under Jenkins. This will be their first regional semifinal appearance since 2003. A victory Saturday would put Collinsville among the region's final two teams for the first time since 1999.
Sophomore pitcher Logan Jenkins has led the Collinsville pitching staff this season and will likely start against Valley Mills. He is 3-0 in the playoffs after pitching a combined 20 and 2/3 innings and allowing 1 unearned run. He has struck out 38 hitters in the postseason while walking four.
In their single game playoff against Axtell, the Eagles turned to Thomas Perez. He pitched 6 and 1/3 innings, allowing 1 earned run on one hit. He struck out 10 and walked one, earning the 7-1 victory.
Logan Jenkins also leads Collinsville at the plate in RBIs, 48, and batting average, 0.451. Freshman Cash Morgan leads in hits with 48, while sophomore Colin Barnes leads in runs with 50.
Barnes said the Pirates must play a great game to beat the Eagles.
"No mistakes," Barnes said. "Score as many runs as possible and just don't let our foot up."
The winner of Saturday's game will face No. 2 Bosqueville.