DOUGLASS, TX (KTRE) - The Douglass baseball team is ranked first in the state, and they are just one game away from getting to state to prove their ranking is valid.
However, they must get past Carlisle first, who are the reigning state champs, and a team that is all but too painfully familiar to the Indians.
For the past 3 years, they have met Carlisle in regional finals and have lost every time.
However, Douglass is the favorite this year and say they're ready to turn their luck around.
Rain wasn't going to stop Douglass from getting on the field Wednesday to prepare for their biggest game yet, against one of their biggest rivals.
"We're just focusing on getting to Round Rock. They've been in our way, so they're our nemesis," said senior first basemen and pitcher, Bryce Westbrook.
After 3 years of defeat from Carlisle, the Indians are saying enough is enough
"Carlisle's been our out every single year, and this year we want to return the favor," said Westbrook.
"Truth be known, we wanted to see Carlisle again," said head coach Eugene Lafitte.
It's never an easy task for Carlisle to get past Douglass though, as last year's game carried over to 9 innings.
"We're going to have teams in each dugout that really just want to go at each other's throats," said Westbrook. "It's going to be a dog fight until the end."
For both teams, neither are use to loosing.
Carlisle is the reigning state champs and have won 18 straight games in a row. One of those wins being last weekend against the number 2 ranked team in the state.
However, Douglass has won 24 straight games, and went undefeated this year in a district they have won 3 years in a row.
"We are the number one team in the state and we're a force to be reckon with. Hopefully Carlisle will get a pretty good taste of that Thursday night," said Westbrook.
Even after a rainy week, Coach Lafitte says their preparation for Thursday's regional final has been the best they've had all year.
"They're focused and confident and they're just ready to play," said Lafitte. "The hardest part is sitting and waiting. They're just ready to play."
The wait is coming to a close, as we are just hours away from taking the diamond, and settling a rivalry that's built within the past 3 years.
"All we have to do now is go out there and defend our state ranking, and give them a little revenge," said Westbrook. "There's not going to be any love-loss either way between us because there isn't much love to begin with."
"I believe we can go on and win state, and I think we will," said Lafitte.
Douglass and Carlisle will take the diamond Thursday in Kilgore at Driller Park. The game starts at 5 p.m.