By MIKE IBANEZ
The Lewisville High School baseball team’s postseason run was brief — its two losses to Allen over a 24–hour span Friday, May 5 and the following Saturday eliminated the Farmers from the state playoffs.
Despite the early exit, the storyline that emerged over the last month of the season was Lewisville’s return to the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
It took a play–in game win over Hebron the day after the final night of the regular season to ensure LHS of the fourth and final playoff spot out of District 5-6A. The fourth-place finish set up the bi-district series with Allen, the first-place finisher in 6-6A.
Allen defeated LHS 8–4 in Lewisville last Saturday. The win, coupled with a 1–0 decision over the Farmers the previous night, clinched the series. The Farmers, who lost four of their last five games to end the season, managed just seven total hits in the two games against the Eagles.
LHS coach Mike Campbell pointed to an untimely hitting slump as the primary reason for the early elimination.
“Over the last three weeks or so, we’ve slumped at the plate which I think hurt us some,” said Campbell, who completed his 43rd season as the LHS head coach. “We weren’t hitting the ball like we were in the first seven weeks and I think that hurt us more than anything.”
Dylan Ditzenberger held LHS to two hits in his complete game win in the first game. Angelo Gennari picked up the loss for the Farmers despite giving up only three hits and striking out nine Eagles.
Allen scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the sixth on a Cole Latos RBI single. Tristan Buschow and Alan West were the only Farmers who managed a hit.
Ditzenberger, a Kansas signee, had two hits and drove in two runs to lead the Eagles in the second game. One of Allen’s pitchers and first baseman Cole Maxwell’s two hits were a home run to center field that gave the Eagles a 6 to 4 lead in the fifth inning.
Steely Gill and Cruz Sustaita each had two hits in the second game. Collin Storms struck out six in four innings, but was credited with the loss.
The Farmers playoff qualification was the exclamation point in a renaissance school year for LHS athletics. Five of the eight Farmer team sports qualified for the post–season as the baseball team joined boys and girls basketball, boys soccer and softball as playoff participants.
Minutes after the defeat that put a lid on the Farmers’ season, Campbell was already reflecting on his team’s accomplishments.
“It’s been a great season,” Campbell said. “It was fun getting back in the playoffs. We battled together in a lot of games and had a lot of fun.”