Barbers Hill versus Friendswood in the UIL baseball playoffs. Period. Enough said. Reading that matchup alone should excite high school baseball fans around the state.
This weekend will mark the third installment of this annual grudge match. The winner of this series the past two seasons has gone on to play at Dell Diamond in Round Rock for the UIL 5A State Championship.
In 2021, Friendswood entered the Region 3 final as the undisputed No. 1 team in the nation, boasting a 30-1 record. The Eagles were on fire and swept the series, sending Barbers Hill to its first state tournament in school history. Barbers Hill went on to defeat Hallsville to win the school’s first-ever state baseball crown.
Last year, Friendswood knocked the Eagles out in the bi-district round, and made their way to the state tournament. The Mustangs lost the title game in heartbreaking fashion to Georgetown 2-1.
This dream matchup was made possible after Barbers Hill swept the No. 23-state ranked Richmond Foster Falcons, and Friendswood put Houston Milby away in two straight games.
The Mustangs are loaded with Division 1 talent, as they were in 2021. The blue-collar Eagles aren’t too caught up in rankings. Coach David Denny’s squad will come to play no matter who the opponent is.
Friendswood has a stable of studs to send out to the mound, and to the plate, led by Texas A&M signee Boots Landry. Landry is the heart and soul of this year’s Mustangs.
The Eagles rely on their entire lineup, one through nine. Briley Van, Aiden Mooring, Colin Schmadl and Brady Thompson will be called upon to shut down the nation’s top offense.
Barbers Hill is the last remaining Baytown-area high school baseball team still alive and fighting for a state championship. Local fans can make the short drive to Deer Park Thursday night at 7 p.m. for Game 1 of the regional quarterfinals. All three games will be played at Deer Park. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday and Game 3, if necessary, will be played Saturday at 7 p.m.
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