Iowa Park Baseball Set for Regional Final - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Iowa Park Baseball Set for Regional Final

Texoma's last baseball team in the playoffs is a team not many saw being this good when the season started.

The Iowa Park Hawks were predicted to be good, but not many people, even in their own dugout, saw them being this good, at least back in February.

The team hadn't won a playoff series in seven years entering this season, but now they're two wins away from a trip to state, which they haven't done since 2001. They say it would mean a lot for the whole town.

"Oh, it'd mean the world to these guys," said coach Michael Swenson, who was a senior on Iowa Park's 1998 State Tournament team. "I always tell them my stories about what it was like to get there. And I know they're tired of hearing them. So hopefully, we can play well this weekend and they'll have their own story to talk about."

"It'd be huge for this town," said sophomore Landen Kimbro. "We haven't been real successful in other sports the past year, and we just took off this year [in baseball]. I mean, it'd be great for the whole program if we got to go to State and got Iowa Park back on the map."

Their opponent is no stranger to the state tournament, having gone just last season. Lubbock Cooper may not have an impressive overall record this year at just 18-17, but Coach Swenson said they play a very tough non-district schedule that skewed the record down.

"They're a program that is rich in tradition, I think they've been to the Regional Finals four times since 2005," Swenson said. "They made it to the State Tournament last year, and have four of those kids back. So they're going to do a good job of hitting the ball, and they're going to do a good job of pitching, and playing defense. So we're going to have to play really well if we hope to advance."

The Region I-3A Finals will be played at McMurry University's Driggers Field in Abilene on Wednesday and Friday, to accommodate the two schools' graduations -- Cooper's is Thursday and Iowa Park's is Saturday.

Wednesday's Game 1 will start at 7:30 p.m., then the series resumes with Game 2 Friday at 5 p.m., with Game 3 to follow 30 minutes after if needed.
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