• August 28, 2014

Confidence fuels Salado baseball team in playoffs

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:30 am

Random musings as the UIL sports calendar enters its final week.

The Salado softball team came close, just one win in fact, to fulfilling its season-long goal of reaching state last weekend.

Tonight, the baseball team will try to pull off the feat with a one-game playoff against Troy standing between it and a return to Round Rock.

Like the softball team, the Eagle baseball team hasn’t been shy in stating its No. 1 goal for this season.

From preseason to now, the Eagles’ public sentiments have remained the same — they want a chance to return to state and erase the memory of a 16-3 loss to Halletsville in the state semifinals last year.

Since the playoffs started, there has been a quiet confidence about the Eagles — one similar to championship teams in professional sports who don’t feel the need to celebrate until the ultimate goal is obtained.

That stoic demeanor ought to benefit the Eagles in a one-game situation that might cause the pressure to increase exponentially for most teams.

But the Eagles don’t feel pressure — not at this point anyway.

Not only that, but with essentially two aces in seniors Casey Frazier and Britton Hawes, Salado is as well-equipped as any team for a one-game playoff.

But the Eagles, of course, hope that tonight isn’t their last one-game playoff with state just a win away.

As 2014 is beginning to bear a startling resemblance to 2012 in the NBA playoffs, it serves as a reminder of what the NBA postseason lacks that say the NFL or MLB playoffs don’t — parity.

Barring an Indiana upset, we were already heading for a repeat of one of the last two Finals, with the Miami Heat taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder, its 2012 Finals opponent, or the San Antonio Spurs, last year’s Finals opponent.

Not only does the 2012 Finals rematch look imminently possible now, but the Thunder are repeating the way they got there by falling down 2-0 and potentially winning four straight for a Finals berth.

I’d call it déjà vu if the NBA hadn’t already displayed its tendency to repeat itself in recent history.

All of the following has occurred since I was born in 1988: the Detroit Pistons repeated, the Chicago Bulls 3-peated, the Houston Rockets repeated, the Bulls 3-peated again, the Los Angeles Lakers 3-peated then later repeated and the Heat repeated the past two seasons.

At the end of the day, it appears this is the nature of the beast in the NBA.

But it is a stunning contrast to nearly every other major sport, college or professional, and makes you wonder if the parity of a league like the NFL will always be favored by the viewing public over a more predictable league like the NBA.

Finally, hopefully, everyone enjoyed our All-Area Girls Soccer presentation this past weekend.

Either way, brace yourself for a deluge of similar sections as the boys team is on tap for this weekend with softball and baseball still to come.

Heights was well-represented on the girls soccer team, with Gracie Grimm being named Co-Newcomer of the Year, and look for that to continue on the ensuing teams.

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