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District 25-4A baseball teams go from round-robin format to three-game series

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — A rule change in District 25-4A baseball should do plenty to prepare teams for the 2013 playoffs.

Coaches voted to go to a three-game series during the district season. That means teams will play each other three times in one week instead of participating in a round-robin format in which each squad plays each other twice during district. Each game will count toward the win-loss column, and all three contests will be played no matter if a team wins Games 1 and 2. Each team is guaranteed one home game a week, and some weeks they will host two contests.

“We’re a seven-team district,” said J.T. Blair, the new head baseball coach at Marble Falls High School. “And if you play everybody twice, that gives you 12 district games. It’s tough to get your four best teams out of that seven-team group. So it gives everybody more chances to get in, and, really, the best four teams will get in the playoffs in this format. We believe that.”

The Mustangs’ season begins Feb. 18 at Canyon Lake, 8555 FM 32 in Fischer, at 7 p.m. District begins March 11 at 7 p.m. at Cedar Park.

Blair said he believes the format change benefits the Mustangs.

“We can look at matchups, and I also like three games in the same week when you’re playing the same team three times in a row,” he said. “You get a good feel for what they do and what their strengths and weaknesses are. I like the format. I’m excited about it.”

Marble Falls’ 2012 season ended in the area round of the playoffs against San Antonio Alamo Heights in three games. Only two players were lost to graduation.

Seniors Cole Ridgely, Cody Goodman, Stacy Heinatz and Joey Blackledge are among the starters returning this season.

“I’ve just been thrilled at how good of kids they are, how hard they work and how competitive they are,” Blair said. “It’s a good group, and I’m excited to get going and really see how good we can be.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com