District 30-4A title on the line for East, Calallen
April 25, 2013 at 9 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.
Neither Victoria East nor Victoria West has had success against Calallen in their three-year history.
The Victoria schools have gone 0-6 against the Wildcats, including 0-3 in playoff games.
The Titans and Warriors are not alone in their misery.
Calallen has made 12 state tournament appearances and won three state championships in the 31 years Steve Chapman has been the head baseball coach at the Corpus Christi school.
West coach Manuel Alvarado played at Stroman, and East coach Wes Kolle played at Victoria High. They have been around Victoria baseball for more than three decades.
But Kolle and Alvarado can't remember the last time a Victoria team beat Calallen.
The same is true of Chapman, who is a Hallettsville native and was an assistant coach at Stroman before taking over at Calallen.
Granted, the teams didn't play often, but Calallen's accomplishments are well known in Victoria.
"All the recognition and stuff they get is rightfully so," Kolle said. "They deserve it just by what they've done in the playoffs and all across the state. To be the best, you've got to beat the best, the old saying goes. That's what you've got to do."
Kolle's Titans (19-9-1, 10-1) will have the chance when they square off against No. 4 Calallen (27-3, 10-1) with the District 30-4A championship at stake Friday at 7 p.m. at Riverside Stadium.
"We knew coming into this year that we were going to get Calallen twice and possibly to get further in the playoffs you are going to have to get through a Calallen and a (Corpus Christi) Moody," he said. "That's what we've been working for all year, and we've been blessed with the opportunity to go win a championship."
Calallen took a 4-1 win over East during the first round of district play. The teams each had five hits, but East committed four errors.
"Every game we've seen them play or we've played against them, a booted ground ball or an inopportune walk or a hit batter, and they're going to turn it into a run somehow," Kolle said. "That's what good teams do, and we're striving to be a good team."
Calallen committed three errors in its lone district loss, a 3-2 setback against Gregory-Portland.
Chapman would like to see a repeat of the errorless defensive performance the Wildcats had in their first game against East.
"They have a very good ballclub," Chapman said. "They're well coached, they have good pitching, good hitting, and they play good defense. I'm expecting a very tight game, and the team that makes the fewest mistakes will probably win."
The Titans are playing for a district title but recognize what a win over Calallen would do for Victoria baseball.
"It would definitely put a statement out there," said senior catcher Aaron Prado. "They're a great team. They've been there. They know what the pressure is. We have to step up and not make any mistakes."
The winner of the Calallen-East game will likely play the loser of Saturday's Uvalde-San Antonio Harlandale game in the bi-district playoffs, while the loser of Calallen-East will face the winner.
The Warriors would advance to postseason play with a win at Gregory-Portland and a Beeville win at home against Tuloso-Midway. If West and Tuloso-Midway lose, they would end up in a three-way tie for fourth place with Calhoun and a round-robin tournament would be held to determine the playoff representative.