High School Sports

Anson's fired up for first state baseball tournament appearance

Tigers are Round Rock bound

ANSON, Texas - Anson is headed to Round Rock for its first appearance in the state baseball tournament this week.

The Tigers punched their ticket by beating rival Stamford on Saturday. They are just two wins away from taking home a state crown.

"I think we're capable of competing up there at that level – and just giving them a good game," head coach Mario Estrada said.

"We're gonna focus in," senior pitcher Matt Villanueva said. "We know we have a good shot at it, at winning game one and going in and winning game two with the way Chase [Finley] has been throwing.

"I mean we're just gonna focus in and try to kinda push out everything else. [We want to] focus because for a lot of us, this is our last shot at [a state title]."

Anson is loaded with experience. The Tigers have 10 seniors on their roster, and they hope that will push them over the top.

The key for the Tigers is their pitching. Villanueva and Finley have been a lethal duo. They've allowed just seven runs in 10 games this postseason.

Finley transferred to Anson from Abilene Cooper, and he's really given the Tigers a perfect one-two punch.

"He keeps the ball low in the zone and throws a lot of strikes," said Villanueva, referring to Finley. "[It] kinda keeps them from hitting too many line drives and pop flies. I kinda try to do the same, fill up the strike zone and throw a lot of strikes, and let my team do their job."

"[Matt and Chase] hit their spots," senior first baseman James Flores said. "They're real good pitchers. I mean they stay consistent with everything, and you know when whoever's hitting puts it ball in play, we do what we gotta do, and back them up."

Villanueva is also channeling his inner 'Wild Thing', as in Charlie Sheen's character from the move Major League. Villanueva has his hair cut like Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn.

"I love that movie," Villanueva said. "It's probably my favorite movie, and just the way he comes out and doesn't care about the way he looks or whatever. He just goes out and plays as hard as he can and he's pretty dominant on the mound, so I just kinda took that and kinda went with it."

Anson will get things started at noon Wednesday in Round Rock against Flatonia. If they win, the Tigers will face either Douglass or Dawson in the championship game at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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