2022 Broncos Refused To Quit
Making history is itself something memorable, but the way the Mansfield Legacy baseball team did so this season was, well, unforgettable.
The Broncos, in posting a 32-10 record, not only became the first baseball team from the Mansfield School District to reach the state tournament, they did so in breathtaking fashion, highlighted by their final victory.
The Broncos’ magical season eventually ended with a 4-2 loss to Friendswood in the Class 5A state semifinals, but not before they staged a comeback for the ages in the Region I final. They scored a dozen runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome a 9-1 deficit against perennial power Aledo to win 13-9 in the third and final game of the series.
“Play a full game, the whole year we talked about that,” head coach Chris McMullen said.
To everyone – except the Broncos – it appeared the best season in school history (they opened in 2007) would end that afternoon. And it was certainly a season to be proud of, a
District 8-5A championship and a spot in the state’s final eight teams would be the envy of many teams.
But, as they had done before in the postseason, they dug deep and found a way to continue their season and make history.
After sweeping Fort Worth Trimble Tech in bidistrict, the Broncos were forced to a third game in each of their next four playoff series. Each time they won the opening game, lost the second, and won the third against Northwest (8-1, 1-9, 8-7), North Richland Hills Birdville (7-6, 2-3, 4-1), Lubbock Cooper (9-1, 0-4, 11-6) and Aledo (8-5, 4-12, 13-9).
“This was a great way to cap off the season for these guys, getting to state,” McMullen said. “Refuse to quit, that’s the 2022 Broncos.”
A pair of area teams reached the third round, another advanced to Round 2. South Grand Prairie led the charge, winning District 8 and finishing with a 25-9 record.
Waxahachie, after placing fourth in District 11 in the regular season, got on a bit of postseason roll and made it to the third round to finish 16-11. After sweeping Bryan with a pair of shutouts (6-0, 2-0), they defeated Tyler Legacy in three games (4-1, 4-7, 5-3) before being eliminated in eight innings in a single-game third-round playoff against Rockwall, 4-1.
Mansfield (15-15) also came on strong late. After placing third in District 11, the Tigers took a three-game bidistrict series from Belton (2-4, 9-2, 4-3) before being ousted by Garland Naaman Forest in three games (0-10, 7-6, 5-7).
The only other area team to reach the postseason was Midlothian. After a fourth-place finish in District 14, the Panthers fell in bidistrict.
Midlothian Heritage won District 10 and fell in bidistrict. Also, Wilmer-Hutchins placed fourth in District 12 and their season ended in bidistrict.
Overall, four of the seven area teams that reached the playoffs won at least one series.