4A State Semifinal Preview

#1 Tomball Cougars (33-4) vs  #4 Wichita Falls Rider Raiders (32-8)

June 6th, 4pm @ Dell Diamond

Both the Cougars and the Raiders won their perspective districts and have made their playoff run thus far appear fairly easy.  Tomball comes in as the #1 ranked team in the TxHighSchoolBaseball.com polls and have maintained that position from wire-to-wire, including the preseason ranking.  Rider, ranked #4 in the preseason poll and #37 in the final poll of the regular season has battled and maintained their winning tradition in route to this year’s tournament.  Tomball comes to Round Rock after blazing through three top 25 teams in this year’s playoffs (Ridge Point, Montgomery, & Foster), while Rider is fresh off of the defeat of 2012 State Finalist and #3 ranked, Cleburne, in a 3-game series in the Region 1 Final.

On paper, Tomball looks to be the behemoth or the proverbial Goliath.  Tomball is led by seniors Nick Banks (Texas A&M), Bryce Welborn (Texas Tech), Ishmael Edwards (Howard), Eric Dunbar and Robert Dugger.   Banks is hitting a blistering .521 on the season, while Dunbar is at .410.  Edwards is on fire at .404 and Dugger trailing slightly at .389.  The team average of .319 leads the state.  Pitching has been by committee; and with only four losses, that committee has been extremely effective.

If Tomball is Goliath, then Rider has to be David.  That’s hard to say about a team that won the title two years ago and was eliminated in the Region Final last year, but Tomball is just that impressive.  However, Rider has more than earned their place at this table of potential champions and that’s in large part due to their team first attitude and their community support.  Rider doesn’t have the athletes that Tomball does, but don’t count them out.

Team Leaders


Tomball – Nick Banks (.521), Anthony Lucas (.476), Dillon Menville (.429), Nick Falcone (.404), Ian O’Bryan (.400)

Rider – Will Darland (.667), Koby Hott (.500), Kyle Reece (.417), David Pewenofkit (.394), Mason Stone (.367).



Tomball – Eric Dunbar (7-0),  Bryce Welborn (5-0), Braeden Holub (5-0), Austin Gryder (3-0)

Rider – Austin Hagy (10-4), Zach Seale (4-0), David Pewenofkit (7-1)



#2 Corpus Christi Moody (32-6-1) vs #3 Whitehouse Wildcats (31-8)


June 6, 7pm @ Dell Diamond


Clash of the Titans………..  Perennial power Moody and equally talented Whitehouse make up my ‘Must See’ game of this tournament.  This is a battle of District Champions who both came in to the season with high expectations from both inside their programs as well as from onlookers in the baseball community.  These two programs are very much alike this season and because of the similarities, should be an epic match up.  Both squads are led by juniors who have put their teams on their backs and have shouldered the load on their paths to this point.  Moody is led by Michael Cantu and Kenny Saenz, while Whitehouse relies on Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Cheatham.  Moody’s Cantu is 12-0 on the season, while Cheatham is 13-0.  Saenz comes in to today at 14-2, while Whitehouse’s Mahomes is 9-1.  Both teams are very young and should contend for the next several years.


Team Leaders


Moody – Aaron Hernandez (.520), John David Garcia (.485), Kenny Saenz (.474), Michael Cantu (.400), Chris Estrada (.400)

Whitehouse – Brennan McDaniel (.500), Alex Fort (.500), Aaron Clemons (.409), Patrick Mahomes (.374), Derek Clemons (.368)



Moody – Michael Cantu (12-0), Kenny Saenz (14-2), Aaron Hernandez (3-1)

Whitehouse – Ryan Cheatham (13-0), Patrick Mahomes (9-1), Peyton Conser (3-3)

Posted on: