Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Garland's 42-year baseball playoff drought comes to a screeching halt
GARLAND — Garland needed nearly three hours to finish off its playoff-clinching 14-5 victory against North Garland on Thursday afternoon.
But after a 42-year playoff drought, what’s another three hours?
The decisive victory clinched Garland the fourth playoff seed out of District 11-5A, the program’s first postseason berth since 1972.
“It feels great,” senior center fielder Luke Feuchter said. “It’s the perfect way to end my senior year. I couldn’t picture it any better.”
First baseman Colton Buckner wrapped his glove around the final out — a 6-4-3 double play — then threw his mitt toward the dugout and raced to the mound to celebrate a win that was nearly half-a-century in the making.
That half century included coach Nick Siratt’s own playing career at Garland. He graduated in 1986 and never made the postseason as a player, but he’ll guide the team into a bi-district playoff against Rockwall-Heath.
“It’s been great to share this with the fan base and the alumni,” Siratt said moments after the team emptied two large jugs of water over his head. “I’ve seen a lot of ex-players, and my phone has been blowing up. Coaches around the area have been calling because they all know what a struggle it’s been for us.”
It was clear from the start that Garland meant business Thursday, batting around in the first inning and scoring five runs on six hits.
Feuchter finished with three singles, a walk, five runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
The Garland offense posted at least two runs in each of the first four innings and jumped out to a 12-3 lead.
Garland had to win without leadoff hitter and right fielder Luther Kirk, who hurt his leg sliding into third base in the second inning. Kirk left on crutches but returned at the end of the game to celebrate with the team. He’ll miss the entire postseason, Siratt said.
“It’s a great feeling to win this game, but it’s tough to lose LK,” Siratt said. “He’s been our catalyst.”