If Colleyville Heritage is to earn the first baseball state tournament berth in school history, it will do so via one of the more unique paths imaginable. In the regional quarterfinals, the Panthers played a game that started so late and lasted so long it ended in the next day. Now, it has advanced from a regional semifinal which was played in another state.
As noted by the Dallas Morning News, Heritage knocked off Amarillo (Texas) in the Class 5A Region I semifinals in back-to-back games, sweeping the three game series. By winning both games, Colleyville Heritage shortened its stay in another state, because the games were played at the University of Oklahoma.
Yes, that’s right. a pair of games in the Texas high school state baseball playoffs were played in Oklahoma. While some educated fans might have guessed that the series was played there in part to get Oklahoma fans a look at Sooners signee Bobby Witt Jr. — a likely top-10 pick in June’s MLB Entry Draft who is likely to sign professionally rather than attend OU — that actually has nothing to do with why the games were played in Norman.
Instead, the venue was chosen because it was actually the best midpoint the two teams could find between Amarillo and Colleyville. Texas is such a large state that regions can stretch across hours of highway. In the case of Amarillo — which is in the Texas panhandle — and Colleyville — which sits between Dallas and Fort Worth — the stretch between the two is some time between five hours and 15 minutes and an even six hours.
Meanwhile, the drive from Amarillo to Norman, Okla. is between four hours and 15 and four hours and 45 minutes. The drive from Colleyville to Norman ranges from 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours and 45 minutes.
That’s about as close to an even split as a team can hope for, which is why both schools agreed to play at the University of Oklahoma, even though that meant crossing state borders to play a Texas playoff baseball game.
“Us having the opportunity to drive the same amount and play at a really nice place — and for it to be turf — for us to be able to do that is kind of a no-brainer,” Colleyville Heritage head coach Alan McDougal told the Morning News. “Amarillo is a tough place to find a midpoint for.”
So, where did Colleyville Heritage get the idea to use an Oklahoma field for a Texas baseball game? From themselves. As noted by the Morning News, the Panthers also played a regional semifinal series in Norman in 2017, sweeping Canyon (Texas) Randall High School.
Given the way the series with Amarillo turned out, Colleyville Heritage might even want to play a few more series there if they can.