Raiders continue building on turnaround season

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One year ago, the Rouse baseball team failed to win a district game. For a program with only one winning season in school history, the Raiders’ turnaround couldn’t have been more dramatic as Rouse won its first district title this season after finishing 14-2, tied for first place with Georgetown.

The Raiders beat the Eagles 10-3 on Saturday to earn the No. 1 seed in the district. They will face off with Waller in the first round of the playoffs beginning at a time and place yet to be determined as of Monday night.

“Just reaching the postseason now isn’t the goal,” Rouse head coach Chad Krempin said. “We’re a lot better than just capable of getting into the playoffs. They have confidence because of the way they’ve played the last three or four games.”

Rouse has been on fire over the last few games. The Raiders are on a five-game winning streak and have outscored their opponents 44-9 in that span. On the season, the Raiders have scored a district-best 184 runs.

The Raiders lost just twice this season in district play, first to rival Cedar Park 3-0 on March 13 and again to Georgetown 5-0 on April 13, which sparked their five-game streak. 

Krempin has a wealth of experience in the dugout. He started as a head coach 15 years ago in Jerrell, moved to Lampasas then San Antonio Central and finally spent the last five years in charge of Salado.

In all those seasons, he’s missed the playoffs just one time. And he said in 13 years, the teams made a deep run, including trips to the state tournament with Jarrell in 2004 and Salado last season.

“My goal has been to have them peak at the right time,” Krempin said. “Usually if you do certain things and stay with the process, our pitching should be able to do well. I’ve tried to continue with that. I think we’ll be well prepared and that will springboard us.”

Admittedly, Krempin said the massive turnaround from last season to this one is harder for him to internalize. But the players and parents have been supportive.

“I know this is a big moment for the players and the fans,” Krempin said. “It’s been a great season and there’s a lot of excitement. The kids have done a great job and they all work extremely hard.”

The Raiders aren’t the only local 19-5A team gearing up for the postseason.

Cedar Park begins its three-game set against Magnolia Friday at 7 p.m. at Mumford High School. Game 2 is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Mumford HS and the series finale will be 30 minutes following that game if necessary.

Before falling in the final game of the regular season, the Timberwolves had a five-game winning streak, which included handing Georgetown just its second loss of the season and snapping the Eagles nine-game winning streak in the process.

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