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Blanco baseball gears up for state tournament

Panthers are state-bound for the first time since 2007

BLANCO – If you're looking for what sets the 2019 Blanco Panthers baseball team apart, look no further than its regional final series against Bishop. 

The Panthers found themselves down early in game one, but climbed out of 2-0 hole to win in walk-off fashion. Blanco then took game 2 to sweep the series and earn its first trip to state since 2007. Such mental resolve is a new phenomenon for the Panthers. 

"Years ago, we'd find a way to lose those games," said head coach Bryan Wyatt. "But this is a different crew this year and they just put their foot down and they weren't going to lose."

"We just came together as a team and played together as a team," said senior catcher and Rice signee Tyler Larue. "Last year and the previous years before that, we weren't tight as a team, but this year we've brought it all together."

The wall outside Blanco's baseball field celebrates the Panthers' two previous state tournament appearances in 1988 and 2007

The Panthers' trip to state will be the third in the program's history and the first since 2007. All three appearances ('88, '07, '19) have come under Wyatt, who has led the program since 1985. 

What do the 2019 Panthers need to do to bring home the gold? Wyatt says the answer is pretty simple. 

"This is the icing right now. We just need to play like we always have and whatever happens, happens," Wyatt said. 

Blanco (32-4) will meet Van Alstyne (29-5) on Friday in the semifinals at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Should the Panthers advance to the state championship game, they'll face either Wall or Kirbyville on Saturday at 9 am.