After struggling down the stretch, losing their last three games and five of six overall to end up in a tie for a playoff spot, the Humble Wildcats baseball team needed to bounce back.
Because when they took the field Saturday for a one-game playoff against the Porter Spartans in Crosby, it was either survive and advance, or see the season come to an end.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, they had Avery Sheldon, who had been successful against Porter before. And on Saturday afternoon, he was once again.
This time, his complete game, one-hit shutout lifted the Wildcats to a 3-0 win, which secured the program’s first playoff berth since 2012.
Sheldon had defeated Porter before; in fact, this was his second complete game against the Spartans in eight days as he threw a complete game four-hit shutout in a 2-0 win the first time.
Meanwhile, Humble’s offense, including Sheldon himself, provided him with just enough offense.
The Wildcats had a 1-0 lead after three; then, in the fourth, Alex Caballero tagged a solo home run to add some insurance; then Sheldon himself provided the third run with an RBI double in the fifth.
The Wildcats will next face the Port Neches-Groves Indians, the champions of District 22-5A. In fact, the Indians went through 22-5A undefeated.
That series will start Friday at PN-G, and will conclude with one and possibly two games Saturday at Humble.
With their win, the Wildcats ensured that all five Humble ISD baseball programs would be in the playoffs. Elsewhere in 21-5A, the Kingwood Park Panthers, who finished third, will face Lumberton in a one-game round Friday night in Lumberton.
And in 21-6A, Atascocita, Kingwood and Summer Creek are all in as well. The Mustangs, who captured the 21-6A title, face Pasadena Dobie in a best-of-three, while Atascocita, who finished third, draws La Porte. And Summer Creek, who captured the last spot, faces Deer Park to open the playoffs.
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