Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Baseball: Highlanders head back to state

The Woodlands

Mascot: Highlanders

Coach: Ron Eastman, 13th season

2013: 36-4 overall, 11-1 in District 14-5A

2013 playoffs: Swept Atascocita in bi-district (6-0, 8-2), beat Round Rock Stony Point in one-game area playoff (2-1), swept Round Rock in the regional quarterfinals (4-0, 8-2), swept Plano West in the regional semifinals (8-1, 8-0) and beat Rockwall 2-1 in their regional finals series (12-5, 1-7, 12-6).

Next up: The Highlanders face San Antonio O'Connor in the Class 5A semifinals at 3 p.m. Friday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

Key players: P Ryan Burnett, P Carter Hope, 1B Chris Andritsos, C Alex Dunlap, IF Luke Sherley

The Woodlands survived a tough series last week at UT's Disch-Falk Field, outlasting Rockwall in three games to win the Class 5A Region II title and return to state for the first time in seven years.

The Highlanders showed they can pile on the runs when necessary, coming from behind to win big in the first and second games, and no inning was bigger than their 12-run, 17-man sixth in Game 1.

They trailed 3-0 going into that sixth, and ended up winning the series opener 12-5.

"It was a pretty amazing inning," coach Ron Eastman said. "Like most teams, our approach is always trying to take one pitch at a time, one at-bat at a time, and when you get down that far, and you're down late in the game, you can't really look at the scoreboard.

"You've just got to have quality at-bats."

They did that, stringing together a number of big hits, including two-run doubles by Chris Andritsos and Carter Hope. Andritsos added an RBI single in the inning, as did two other Highlanders.

Eastman said the inning came down to better approaches than they'd had earlier in the game, and the Rockwall pitchers' struggle with control.

"They ended up bringing in three or four guys," Eastman said. "The only one we didn't see was the guy … who beat us in Game 2."

The Highlanders dropped the second game 7-1 before rebounding to win Game 3 and the series. They trailed 6-1 in the third game before a seven-run, third-inning eruption, eventually winning 12-6.

"They were a good team," Eastman said. "They're as good as anybody we've faced.

"They hit the ball as well as anybody we've seen in the playoffs, and did a good job barreling up the fastball. They play a real hard-nosed type of baseball, and so they weren't going to quit, they weren't going to give up."

Neither are the Highlanders, who proved as much in Austin. Now they have to keep it going in Round Rock.

"The ability to survive that makes us better going to the state tournament just because we had to go to an elimination game and play a very hard-nosed team that pitched it pretty well," Eastman said.

"Fortunately for us, our last guy on the mound pitched better than their last couple guys on the mound."

Eastman said it's a great feeling to be back at state for the first time since 2006. The state championship was their goal going into the season, and it's still a very real possibility with four teams left.

The 2006 team won the state and mythical national championships, and the comparisons between this The Woodlands team and that one are starting to heat up, but Eastman says it's a bit premature.

"This is a great group," Eastman said. "In '06, we had six guys drafted off that team and 11 guys go play college baseball, eventually, so we're going to have to wait a few years."

The current Highlanders incarnation has great heart, Eastman said. It doesn't have the superstar mentality of the 2006 club, led by first-round MLB draft pick Kyle Drabek and Paul Goldschmidt.

But with Carter Hope and Ryan Burnett on the mound, Eastman says their 1-2 punch rivals Drabek and Steven Maxwell.

"Talent-wise, they're pretty close," he said. "We'll see how well we can finish. That group just lost one game, and it was a game we probably shouldn't have lost, and they ran the table in the playoffs, too.

"That was a pretty special group. Some people say it's the greatest team in Texas high school baseball history."

The Woodlands opens the state tournament against San Antonio O'Connor at 3 p.m. Friday at Dell Diamond. O'Connor features Texas A&M signee Mark Ecker, a standout pitcher who could only hit last week because of an elbow injury, and pitcher Justin Garcia, who clinched their first state trip.

"We just need to keep doing what we've been doing," Eastman said. "We need to keep our focus. You've got four great teams, and it's just a matter of who comes out Friday and plays the best game.

"Obviously, we want to try to get out to an early lead, but now we know, after the last couple weeks, that if we do get behind that we have the heart and the offense to climb back into a game."

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Brothers and siblings, six months ago I talked in the priesthood session of basic seminar to children and dads. As you may expect, my 5 little girls, 24 granddaughters, and ever-increasing variety of great-granddaughters have actually been asking for equivalent time. Today I will talk largely to the moms and daughters of the Religion.

My dear wife, Barbara, has had a forever significant impact on our daughters and granddaughtersâ and they, then, on her. Mothers and little girls play an essential part in aiding each other discover their infinite opportunities, even with the undermining impacts of a world through which femininity and being a mother are being corrupted and controlled.

Talking to the females of the Religion virtually a century ago, President Joseph F. Smith said: "It is not for you to be led by the women of the world; it is for you to lead the ... women of the world, in everything that is praise-worthy, every little thing that is God-like, everything that is improving and ... cleansing to the children of men" (Trainings of Head of states of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 184).

Siblings, we, your brethren, can not do what you were divinely designated to do from prior to the foundation of the world. We might attempt, however we could not ever want to reproduce your unique presents. There is absolutely nothing in this world as individual, as nurturing, or as life transforming as the impact of an exemplary female.

I know that some of you young women do not have moms with whom you could go over these issues. And many of you females do not presently have daughters in your lives. But because all ladies have within their blissful attributes both the inherent ability and the stewardship to mother, most of what I will state uses just as to grandmas, aunts, siblings, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, innovators, and various other mentors who often load the spaces for these considerable mother-daughter relationships.

Young ladies, your mothers love you. They see in you the assurance of future generations.

Today I wish to give you young women some tips on the best ways to take full advantage of your partnership with your mother. Then I have a few ideas to share with moms concerning how they can optimize their influence with their little girls along with the various other members of their households.

Immodest, immoral, intemperate females jam the airwaves, monopolize journals, and slink across movie screensâ all while being celebrated by the globe. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of "risky times" that will certainly come in the last days and particularly referenced something that could have seemed specifically treacherous to him: "ridiculous women stuffed with sins, led away with scuba divers desires" (2 Timothy 3:1, 6).

Therefore, my dear young women, with all my heart I advise you not to aim to contemporary culture for your shining example and mentors. Satisfy look to your faithful moms for a pattern to follow. Model yourselves after them, not after personalities whose requirements are not the Lord's requirements and whose worths could not reflect an eternal point of view. Planning to your mom. Pick up from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness. Hear her. She might not be a whiz at texting; she may not even have a Facebook page. However when it involves matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wide range of understanding. As you approach the moment for marital relationship and young motherhood, she will be your best resource of wisdom. No other individual on earth enjoys you similarly or is willing to sacrifice as much to motivate you and help you find happinessâ in this life and for life.

Passion your mom, my young relatives. Respect her. Listen to her. Depend on her. She has your finest passions at heart. She cares about your eternal protection and joy and happiness. So be kind to her. Be patient with her imperfections, for she has them. Most of us do.

Now may I share a couple of thoughts with you moms concerning the special role you play in your little girls' lives. If the moms are thrifty, so are their little girls. If the mothers wear flip-flops and various other casual clothing to rite conference, so do their daughters.

Throughout the history of the world, females have actually constantly been teachers of moral worths. That direction starts in the cradle and continues throughout the lives of their children. Today our community is pounded with messages about womanhood and parenthood that are alarmingly and wickedly wrong. Adhering to these messages can put your little girls on the path to sin and self-destruction. Your little girls may not understand that unless you tell them or, much better, unless you reveal them ways to make good options. As mothers in Israel, you are your little girls' initial line of protection versus the wiles of the globe.

Now, moms, I know that it in some cases shows up that our kids aren't paying focus to the courses we're trying to show them. Believe meâ I've seen that glazed-over appearance that comes to the eyes of teens merely when you're coming to exactly what you think is the ideal part of your guideline. Allow me ensure you that even when you believe your daughter is not listening closely to a point you state, she is still finding out from you as she views you to see if your actions match your words.

Teach your daughters to discover delight in caring youngsters. This is where their passion and talents could have the best eternal relevance. Think about in this context President Harold B. Lee's injunction that "the most essential ... job you will certainly ever do will be within the wall surfaces of your very own houses" (Trainings of Head of states of the Religion: Harold B. Lee [2000], 134). This holds true for everyone, naturally, but it is particularly effective when taking into consideration the partnership of moms and daughters.

Mothers, instruct your little girls that a devoted daughter of God stays clear of the temptation to chatter or judge one another. In a preaching to the Comfort Community of Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph counseled, "The tongue is a rowdy memberâ hold your tongues about things of no moment" (Teachings of Head of states of the Religion: Joseph Smith [2007], 455).

Recently there has actually been a breakout of movies, books, and short articles discussed girls and ladies that gossip and that are "suggest." Satan is constantly attempting to weaken the most precious aspect of a lady's immaculate natureâ the nature to sustain.

A mother-daughter relationship is where a daughter discovers how to nurture by being sustained. She is liked. She is educated and experiences firsthand what it seems like to have an individual care about her sufficient to repair her while continuing to think and encourage in her at the same time.

Bear in mind, sisters, God is the resource of all respectable and spiritual power. We access to that power by entering into covenants with Him or her and keeping those covenants. Mothers, educate your little girls the value of making covenants, then show them how to keep those covenants in such a way that they will certainly desire to live deserving to visit the holy place.

In today's world this suggests speaking to your little girls concerning sex-related issues. Your daughters as well as your children are coming of age in a globe that freely welcomes early, laid-back, and thoughtless indiscrimination.

They require to know that when they put on clothing that is as well strict, also brief, or too reduced cut, they not just can send out the wrong message to young men with whom they connect, however they likewise keep up in their own thoughts the fallacy that a lady's worth is reliant entirely upon her sensual beauty. This never ever has been nor will certainly it ever before be within the righteous interpretation of a devoted daughter of God. They need to hear thisâ clearly and repeatedlyâ from your lips, and they have to see it designed properly and consistently in your own individual requirements of gown, grooming, and modest living.

All young people will be more likely to make and keep covenants if they find out exactly how to identify the presence and the voice of the Spirit. Show your daughters regarding things of the Spirit. Through keeping covenants they will know to listen to the voice of the Lord and receive personal discovery.

Ensure they understand that keeping covenants is the best roadway to eternal happiness. And if required, show them how to repent and ways to continue to be pure and worthwhile.

Now, if this has a familiar noise, my sisters and siblings, it's since I have actually been speaking to moms and dads and their youngsters for three basic conferences in a row. Last April I motivated the young people to "find out the lessons of the past." From that talk I quote: "When you are willing to learn and listen closely, some of life's most significant trainings come from those that have gone before you. ... The amount of best your life will be if you will certainly comply with the honorable instance of the faithful followers of Christ" ("Understanding the Lessons of the Past," Liahona and Ensign, May 2009, 31, 33).

Last October I spoke with fathers and sons in priesthood meeting, and today I have spoken mainly to moms and daughters. In each instance my message has actually been comparable yet a variety of. I hope you are listening and see a design and listen to a constant, steady message that in these last days it is essentialâ even criticalâ that moms and dads and youngsters listen to and profit from each other. These are not just spiritual concepts regarding which I have been talking. They are the importance, the center, of God's plan for our eternal joy and tranquility.

The home is the most crucial place to prep the young people of today to lead the family members and the Religion of tomorrow. It rests after each one of us as mothers and dads to do all we could to prepare our young people to be trustworthy, exemplary men and women.

I conclude my guidance with this prophetic summary from President Joseph F. Smith: "Our [family] associations are not exclusively meant for this life, for time, as we distinguish it from eternity. We live for time and for eternity. We develop organizations and relations for time and all eternity. ... Who are there besides the Latter-day Saints that consider the thought that beyond the tomb we will proceed in the family organization? the dad, the mother, the kids identifying each other ...? this family organization being a device in the fantastic and perfect organization of God's job, and all predestined to proceed throughout time and eternity?" (Teachings: Joseph F. Johnson, 385, 386).

May God bless us to show, support, and prep one another within the wall surfaces of our homes for the great work that must be done by all of us now and in the future is my prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Today I will talk largely to the moms and daughters of the Church.

As moms in Israel, you are your daughters' first line of protection versus the wiles of the world.

Moms, show your daughters that a trustworthy daughter of God avoids the lure to gossip or judge one another. Moms, instruct your little girls the significance of making covenants, and after that show them how to keep those covenants in such a means that they will certainly want to live deserving to go to the holy place.

Last October I talked to dads and children in priesthood meeting, and today I have actually spoken mostly to moms and daughters.