Baseball teams across the area are still in tournament mode, but Boling and East Bernard will start district play a couple of weeks early.

 They won’t begin playing district twice a week until March 19, but the week of space gives them room in case they need to pause the season due to COVID-19 or any other delays.

To get the Boling Bulldogs ready for the early start for district play, they got back on the field a little quicker than other schools. Most schools across the country did not do anything for a full week during the historic winter storm that hit the area two weeks ago. Bulldogs got in work on Thursday, Friday and played a game on Saturday.

“We actually only missed three days, but we missed two scrimmages,” Boling coach Brent Tritschler said. “Overall we scrimmaged several times, so that was good to lead into the season when a lot of teams didn’t do that.”

The Bulldogs last week went 3-1 with three wins against Tidehaven and a loss to Edna in a pitching duel.

Through the four games, Boling’s pitching shined. The Bulldogs used nine different pitchers and got a big outing from junior Lance Kocian who struck out 12 in four innings of work. in total seven different pitchers tossed at least one scoreless inning.

“Pitching wise we’ve got 10 guys who can throw. Our pitching has excelled,” Tritschler said. “We’ve even started coming through with the bats as well and it’s overall been a great team effort.”

Against Edna, Boling’s bats were muted and only picked up one run in the seventh inning to avoid a shutout. The offense broke out against Tidehaven scoring 32 runs in three games. Patient bats drew walks and hitters up and down the lineup contributed.

The Bulldogs this year feel good about the season ahead. Before the COVID-19 shutdown last season, Boling was on a roll with their only losses coming to Class 4A schools. Nearly the entire team returned only losing one starter to graduation, their centerfielder.

“It’s so nice to be back and to be able to actually show people what we knew we were going to do last year and show it this (season).” senior cleanup hitter Colby Chilek said. “Most of us have played select ball and little league together since we were little kids.”

Per, Chilek and senior Andrew Gonzales are both preseason top-40 players in 3A Region III. Boling has also been picked to finish second in district. The Bulldogs have not made the playoffs since 2016.

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