The last week of March wasn’t exactly kind to the Harker Heights baseball team.
Heights went from one game back of first place to fourth in District 8-5A after being bombarded by Temple and seeing Waco Midway snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
But the Knights are as chipper as ever, even with defending district champion Belton visiting Heights today.
“We like big games,” head coach Glenn Cunningham said with a smile at practice Wednesday.
The Belton game comes a day after the Knights hosted Copperas Cove to close out the first half of district play.
And given the Knights’ new district position — one game back of third-place Temple, who defeated Heights 9-0 last Tuesday — both games will be huge in the grand scheme of the district race.
“They’re two big games back to back, but I think our guys have had a good week of preparation,” Cunningham said. “They’ve worked hard, and we just feel good about ourselves and feel like we’ll show up in the two games.”
One reason Heights remains confident is the effort it put up against Midway, which was tied with Belton atop the District 8-5A standings at the time.
Heights led the Panthers until the fifth inning when Midway claimed the lead for good on a Stieler Harris two-run double.
The Knights also had a chance to win it in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out only to hit into a game-ending double play.
“That’s baseball sometimes,” Cunningham said.
But Cunningham was encouraged by a game in which his team outhit Midway after being shut out against Temple.
“I just felt good,” Cunningham said. “Our kids really responded to a tough loss against Temple earlier that week.
“We talked about we still felt like we had a good team.”
Cunningham also praised senior Caleb Dean, who continued his impressive work on the mound against Midway, particularly early.
So, while the Knights didn’t get the results they wanted in two games last week, they did see encouraging signs that have them ready to take on the second half of district play.