SAN ANGELO, TX — High School baseball playoff action officially hits the halfway point across the state this weekend. The Wall Hawks’ Baseball team heads into its Regional Quarterfinal playoff matchup against the Blanco Panthers on Friday at Donsky Field in San Angelo at 5 p.m. The last time these two teams played each other was when the Hawks hoisted the State Championship trophy back in 2019.
The Hawks practiced at Donsky Field on Thursday to get a feel for where they will play on Friday. Head Coach Jason Schniers conducted a thorough practice with the guys and put solid work in all around. When asked about Blanco this weekend, he said, “Blanco is a program that has had a lot of success. They know how to play the game well and are well-coached.”
Wall won their first two playoff matchups with impressive offensive prowess the past two weeks. The Hawks scored 41 runs in their last three games and 46 in the playoffs. It doesn’t seem to matter who their opponents have on the mound because the Hawks are in the zone. Last week, Gunnar Dillard had a 3-run shot in Game 1, and Will Scherr hit a grand slam in Game 2. Look for these two to continue their hot streak. Augden Hallmark and Luke Kemp continue to make solid contact in quality at-bats. The Hawks need their offense this weekend against Blanco.
Defensively, pitching hasn’t been a problem so far in the playoffs. Last week, Hallmark came into the game during Game 2 in the second inning to pitch a shutout for 3 ⅔ innings. While several of Wall’s playoff games ended in six innings or less, solid defense continues to serve Wall well.
“We need to continue to throw strikes and make the routine plays on defense,” Schniers continued. “Hopefully, our offense continues to draw walks and hit the ball hard with runners in scoring position. Anyone still playing at this time in the season deserves to move on to the next round. [Winning or losing] will come down to whichever team can execute in big situations.”
That may sound like a generic coach response, but Schniers is absolutely correct. Blanco is an incredibly talented baseball team, and it will take nothing less than Wall’s best to beat them. The first step in the fight is to make sure all the fundamental parts of baseball are done correctly each time.
The Hawks continue to power forward throughout the playoffs, but the hot streak might not last forever. How does Wall sustain this level of play week after week? Coach Schniers has the answer. “If you aren’t motivated to play baseball during this time of year, then that isn’t good. Our kids stay focused and continue to work hard to achieve their goals. They ‘Refuse to Lose.’”
The game time for Friday afternoon is 5 p.m. at Central High School’s Donsky Field. Game 2 will be at Burnett High School at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with a possible Game 3 thirty minutes after Game 2.