The regional semifinals are just hours away from a first pitch as the Alexander baseball team looks to get back to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2015. To get their, the Bulldogs will have to go through a familiar foe.
For the seventh time in the last nine seasons the alexander baseball program finds itself as just one of 16 left at the highest level of Texas baseball. And for the second year in a row it's the Reagan Rattlers that sit between them and the regional finals. Last year it was the guys from San Antonio winning a three game thriller, leaving the Bulldogs with unfinished business this time around.
"Redemption is always a big thing, especially when going up against a team that eliminated you last year, so it's going to be a battle between us and them and hopefully we come out on top." (Sergio Galvan, Bulldog 3B)
This rivalry goes back further than just one year though as these two have met up every season since 2013, sometimes in tournaments, sometimes like this year in the playoffs.
"It's become a good little rivalry between us and them. They've gotten the best of us a couple of times and we've done the same to them. It's always fun to play them, I know they are going to bring it and our guys are up for it. It's going to be a fun weekend." (Fernando Lemus, Bulldog Head Coach)
"We know what to expect from them, so we know how to prepare to face them off, so it certainly helps." (Joseph Chavana, Bulldog P)
What else helps is going through a tough district slate that gets them ready for these types of runs.
"Every game since district season started has been a competition, it's been a good test for the playoffs and it's got us prepared to where we are now." (Galvan)
That mindset started long before district play though as the Bulldogs practice shirts read “Earn it,” a phrase that has changed meaning as the season has gone along.
"They have to work their butt off for everything they get, nothing is going to be handed to them and they have to bring it no matter what." (Lemus)
"Without the work that we've been putting in and the grit that we've had to show, it wouldn't have been possible to get to this point." (Galvan)
"At the beginning of the year it meant to earn our spots, and now it's to earn our place at the state finals." (Chavana)