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Wylie, Stamford ready for today's state semifinal baseball action

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It's been two very different journeys for Wylie and Stamford in leading them to this week's state baseball tourney in Austin.

Wylie cruised through the playoffs with ease, almost shutting out their opponents until the later rounds. The regional final proving to be their biggest test yet, in that comeback win against Godley on Friday.

Wylie will play Pleasant Grove at 1 p.m. at Disch Falk Field on the campus of the University of Texas, in hopes to get further than they did a year ago, a state semifinal loss to Argyle.

"We'll be a little bit more comfortable with the atmosphere," said catcher Lane Bourland during Monday's practice. "It's a big stadium, and I think last year it got a little too big for us. Going into this year, we'll have that experience and be ready, and just go out there and play baseball."

Stamford, who departed with a send-off Tuesday morning, has been playing more of the underdog role – advancing to state after 3 district losses in the regular season, and two tough series with Albany and Hawley.

They found ways to win based off their grit and determination, and now sit just two games away from being called state champions. The unranked Stamford Bulldogs take on 2nd seed Beckville at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Round Rock at Dell Diamond.

"We're pretty underwhelming on paper. We're not going to knock your socks off with anything that we do, except play hard," said head coach Jeremy West at Monday's pep rally.

But both teams, despite their very different season paths to get here, share a common outlook: a ton of confidence heading to their semifinal games.

"Our coaching staff is really good and that goes back to all sports," said junior Stamford pitcher Wesley Gonzales at Monday's pep rally. "From the start of football in August, it really starts then, and they put it into us that anything can be achieved."

"Oh I think the fact that we have 17 guys that made the trip last year. The experience that we gained from that, and you know, I think our depth," explained Wylie head coach Clay Martin at Monday's final practice.

KTXS will have coverage throughout the week on KTXS news, in addition to live in-game updates on twitter, and stories on our website, www.ktxs.com.

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