Entering the final week of the season, baseball team Port Neches-Groves and the Netherlands will compete for fourth and final place in the 21-5A District playoff game.
The two teams started the last week of the local match with a draw for fourth place, with matches to be held on Tuesday and Friday.
Both teams play against the higher ranked teams in the region. PNG plays Galena Park, while Bulldogs play in Barbers Hill.
Papua New Guinea coach Scott Carter said that no matter how the week ends, he is proud of his team.
“I’d like to pull a comb and put us in a great pose,” he said. “I just want us to go out and play good baseball. That’s the most important thing. We just want to play a good baseball game and see what happens. We’re excited to finally get a chance here and pursue that.”
Carter said last week would be an invaluable experience for his young team.
“Whether we go in or not, the experience will be great,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, we want to come in…the guys have done a great job this year becoming a team. They have great chemistry and these are the things that make good baseball teams. We played a tough schedule with some guys who were going to college for the first time” . †
Dutch coach Brian Spell said his team is playing match after match.
“We have to win,” he said. “We have to find a way to win. Hopefully we can find a way to win. Now we are in a winning position. Certainly.”
Like Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands is also working on a young team that has had to deal with ups and downs.
“Many of our experienced players played for us with great consistency,” Spiel said. “Hopefully we can get another consistent performance from Brady (Corcoran). He always gives us a chance to win. Hopefully we can play behind him and score enough laps to get out front.”
If the two teams finish the week with the same record, the two teams will meet for the third time in the play-off. However, both coaches said their teams are doing everything they can to prevent this.
“We are aware of that,” Spell said of the opportunity to play against PNG. “We feel that if we don’t win one of these next two, our chances of playing a match are not very good. We think we need to win one to have a chance in the play-offs. With our business taking care of our business, we may find ourselves looking inside from the outside.”
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