70° F Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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By Joe Harrington
Sports editor

Ben Green is ready to change people’s minds when it comes to Connally High School athletics.

The Cougars are known as a solid football school. They have a strong basketball program on the boys and girls side that routinely make the playoffs. But as Green showed last week when he threw a 5-inning, 11 strikeout no-hitter, the Cougars aren’t too shabby on the baseball diamond either.

Green and the Cougars will be the only Pflugerville school district baseball team in the postseason after an 9-6 finish in District 17-4A captured them the final playoff spot and a one-game playoff series with Montgomery at 7 p.m. Friday at College Station High School.

“We made the playoffs, and no one really had us making it at all,” Green said. “We proved a lot of people wrong, I guess, but it’s definitely the right step for this program. We’re all excited, hopefully we get a ‘W.’”

The Cougars beat Manor 10-0 and 8-4 to wrap up the regular season and finish the year 12-16-6, but first-year coach Ryan Burns said the team has turned the corner in district play with the play of Green and sophomore Jordan Murphy on the mound.

“In the tournaments, we started off really slow,” Burns said. “It took a lot of coaching and the kids were getting used to some new positions and some different things … they had to get to know me and my coaching style a little bit, I think. Once we got to know each other, and started trusting each other and developed that relationship, the kids have really started playing good baseball.”

Connally faces a No.10 –ranked Montgomery team that poses a tough challenge for the Cougars. The team will start Green on the Mound, which Burns said he earned with after his hot finish and battling back from an injury early in the year.

“Ben’s earned it because he’s a senior,” Burns said. “He’s done a really great job for us this year. So has [Jordan] Murphy. Pitching wise, with his ankle recovering, we were sure what we would get out of him. Once we got into district play he really started to throw.”

He’s been strong, and so has the program. With baseball talent spread throughout Pflugerville, Burns and Green said they’re excited to represent Pflugerville in the playoffs.

“If we were all in [Class] 5A, maybe it’d be a different story,” Green said. “[Pflugerville and Hendrickson] in great districts, it’s good. We’re going to represent Pflugerville hopefully well.”

Burns shared the sentiment.

“It does feel good,” he said. “People think of baseball out here and they think of Pflugerville and Hendrickson High School and Connally is thought more of a football and basketball school. For these kids, they kind of feel like they get forgotten about.

“It’s exciting for us and our kids.”

As for Montgomery, Burns said the Cougars just need to play loose and enjoy Friday.

“They’ve been here before,” Burns said of Montgomery. “These kids we have haven’t. It could be a good thing — could be a bad thing. I don’t think our kids feel a lot of pressure. They feel like they can go out there and have fun and play the way we play and good things might happen for us.”

Comments

  1. Cougar Mom says:

    Win or lose on Friday, I am so proud of our Connally boys. They have bonded well and so have the parents. This has been a great season. We’ve seen some good baseball. Go Cougars!

  2. CHS Parent says:

    Great job guys! Class of 2013 Go Cougars!

  3. Cougar Fan says:

    Very proud of our Cougars this season. They have a strong bond and played with skill and heart. It’s a pleasure to cheer for this group of young men. Go Cougars!

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