Vista Ridge spent their week between the regular season and the playoffs with a little father-son bonding.
The Rangers’ players and their dads met in the seventh annual father-son game last week. Despite some help from the coaches, who were serving as umpires, a late-inning comeback by the kids sealed a victory over the dads.
The real playoffs begin for Vista Ridge this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Blossom Athletic Complex in San Antonio, where the Rangers will face San Antonio Johnson. The series shifts to Vista Ridge for Game 2 Saturday at 2 p.m. with Game 3 half an hour later, if necessary.
“We feel good,” Vista Ridge head coach Jason Bourgeois said. “The kids needed that little break too so it's was kind of fortunate that the break was built in at the end of the season. I love our kids’ fight because they never give up and they never quit.”
The Rangers ended the year on a high note with a win against state No. 2 Lake Travis and a three-game sweep of Westlake in the final series of the season to stretch their winning streak to four games.
Bourgeois and the Rangers aren’t new to the postseason, clinching a spot for the seventh year in a row.
There are subtle differences between the playoffs and the regular season like looking ahead at different pitching matchups three games in close succession. But the biggest difference is pressure, especially in win-or-go-home situations.
“Pressure is not a bad thing, it’s about how you respond to that pressure,” Bourgeois said. “It can make you more on point and more aware. We approached every series in the district as a playoff series. We’ve been kind of preparing the whole year whether or not they know it.”
Vista Ridge is led by a pair of outstanding pitchers in Jered Hart and Kyle John, with Cody Russom taking the mound to close out games. Hart has a no-hitter against Leander and one-hit Westlake last weekend. John, meanwhile, is headed to Texas Tech next season.
Bourgeois said it depends on the night as to which part of the order provides the office, but it’s been good to see different kids step up. Among a long list of games, Bourgeois mentioned Brady Nevin’s hitting as a strength for the team this season.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well,” Bourgeois said. “Kyle and Jared do a great job of working the game. The catchers do a great job of managing the game and then Russom comes in and gets the outs at the end.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well and hopefully we’re peaking at the right moment.”