The Paradise Panthers’ fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs will begin against a familiar face.
The Panthers will meet the Krum Bobcats for a third straight year.
“We beat them two years ago in bi-district, and they beat us last year in the region quarterfinal,” said Paradise coach Scott Broussard. “The two teams know each other.”
They meet this time in a Class 2A Region II bi-district best-of-three series at Northwest. Game one will be Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Game two is Saturday at 1 p.m. with game three, if necessary, following.
While Paradise is continuing a string of playoff appearances, many of the Panthers will be getting their first taste of the postseason. Of the 16 members of the Panthers’ varsity squad, only five – Connor Berry, Jarrett Holt, Logan Bailey, Andrew Sims and Jarrett Roper – have playoff experience.
The Panthers carry seven freshmen, starting three.
“We’re a young team,” Broussard said. “This is a big step and says something for the kids to get here. It’s made it one of the more satisfying years. A lot of people said we couldn’t do it. But (we) are the ones that did it.”
The Panthers will rely on a freshman battery for one of the games with starting pitcher Dillon Meadows and catcher Skylar Black.
Meadows, who assumed the ace role when Kale Johnson went down with an injury, enters the playoffs with a 7-3 record and 1.99 ERA. He earned the victory in the playoff-clinching win over Boyd Tuesday.
Along with leading the Panthers on the mound, Meadows holds the team’s highest batting average, hitting .435 with 29 RBIs.
Black is second in hitting with a .389 average.