• 68°

Player of the Week: Matt Wallace

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Matt Wallace threw an absolute gem in a big game. Yeah. That one does not surprise too many people anymore.

After Wallace showed up big in game three of the semi-finals last season against Edgewood, hardly anyone is taken by surprise when he shows just how clutch he is. The difference this year is in his defense. In the state semi-finals, they let him down. In last Friday’s first round series, they did nothing of the sort.

In fact, it was the defense that nearly saved Wallace’s perfect game. With two outs in the sixth inning, shortstop Rabe Hale dove for a grounder up the middle that was destined for centerfield. Hale popped up and fired, missing the runner by less than a stride.

That was the only nick on Wallace’s astounding performance. He worked the full six innings, striking out eight and allowing only the one baserunner. For 19 batters, Wallace pounded the strike zone. The righty was a beacon of consistency, placing his plant foot in virtually the same spot every time as he flashed almost complete command of his pitches and kept Lakeside off balance.

If Wallace can continue to offer similar production, there is a strong chance the Longhorns will be back in the state finals next week. And, more likely than not, Edgewood will be waiting for them. How poetic.