Carlisle's road to state has been almost perfect.

The Indians, of course, plan to continue the trend.

Carlisle (27-1), which spent the entire season atop the state polls, meets Weimar (21-14-1) in the Class 1A state baseball semifinals at noon today from Round Rock's Dell Diamond. The winner advances to meet either Stamford (25-2) or Trenton (29-7) in the championship game at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Carlisle is making its second consecutive state appearance after falling to eventual champion Fayetteville in last season's semifinals. The Indians have become late-round regulars.

"I think it's exciting for us," coach Wesley Colley said. "Not too many teams can say they made it to the regional finals three years in a row and it's our fourth time in eight years. I think it's a positive thing."

Carlisle eliminated upset-minded Douglass in the 1A Region III final for the second straight season last week, prevailing on a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the ninth. The win propelled the Indians to the meeting with Weimar, which played a third-and-deciding game in each postseason matchup leading up to state.

Weimar fell 8-0 to Flatonia in the opener of their regional final, but came back to win Game 2, 3-1, and Game 3, 8-5, to advance to state for the fifth time since 2000 and seventh time overall. The Wildcats have played twice as many postseason games (12 versus 6) as Carlisle.

"I don't know much about them, but I think because of their record they've played some pretty tough teams," Colley said. "They won their district and apparently they are on a roll right now. I fully expect we are going to have to come and play some pretty good baseball to beat them."

Carlisle ace Gunner Baker is expected to get call in the semifinals, having produced a 14-0 record, 0.08 ERA and 171 strikeouts so far. That would leave the championship game for Shadow Sanders, who's 6-0 with 81 strikeouts.

Baker's been rolling on the mound in the postseason, which factors well with an offense that's scored 10 or more runs 18 times this season.

Colley expects his players to be focused.

"We had a meeting right before practice (Monday) and talked about Weimar a little bit," he said. "I don't think (their record) came up in the discussion much. I did emphasize the fact they're at the state tournament because they're good. Even though they've got 14 losses, when a team gets on a role they can get the hot hand."

 

 
 

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