Lockney at New Deal
What: District 4-2A baseball game
When: 5 p.m. Tuesday
Where: New Deal High School
Records: Lockney N/A; New Deal 0-2, 0-1 overall
Updates: Follow Bryan Navarette at @AJ_BNavarette
Lowdown: Due to a deep postseason push in the basketball season, the Lions have not been able to get as many nondistrict games as most of their opponents.
The result has been a pair of losses to Muleshoe (10-9) and Floydada (7-6), which has not dampened the spirits of New Deal head coach Jason Ybarra.
“This is first, for me, getting guys this late in the season,” the third-year Lions coach said. “But the good thing about those deep runs is you know those guys just love to compete. Considering they’ve gotten a couple of practices and games in, I told them that they have to expect to struggle early.”
The Longhorns, who advanced to the Region I-2A semifinals last season, will provide a quick litmus test for the Lions.
“I got to watch them play earlier this year and they put the ball in play a lot,” Ybarra said. “They make the defense work, so we’ll have to be ready.”
Lockney finished last season with 20-plus wins and bring back several playmakers, including pitcher Ruben Marmolejo and Israel Cuellar.
“Their ace pitcher (Marmolejo) does a good job because he works every area of the plate and makes you work to get those outs,” Ybarra said. “He also changes his speeds real well.”
Ybarra is hoping his lineup, which includes Brandon Coronado, Jett Whitfield, Moreno Ramirez and Brandon Hernandez, can stay patient and get timely hits Tuesday night.
“We’re going to fight and compete, that’s what I know about these kids,” Ybarra said.