Both the Pleasant Grove Hawks and the Maud Cardinals have made it to the region finals in the high school baseball playoffs in Texas.

The Hawks, led by Head Coach Riley Fincher, Pitching Coach Paul Phillips, and Assistant Coach J.W. Bramlett, are in the region finals again this year. Just like last year, PG is facing Argyle in the region finals. The Eagles are the defending Texas Class 4A State Champions and they kept the Hawks from making the state semi-finals last spring.

Both teams are familiar with making it deep into the playoffs. The Hawks won the Region semi-final over Celina, while Argyle took out North Lamar to make it to this point.

Pleasant Grove's secret to success in the playoffs over the past decade has been great pitching, good defense and timely hitting. Phillips has been there for most of those successful runs. Phillips' tutoring of the young pitchers at PG has been extremely important in churning out the pitching talent. He begins working with them early on and instills in them the physical mechanics and the mental toughness it takes to be a successful high school pitcher. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and former PG star Michael Wacha is among  his students of the game.

This year, the Hawks are depending on senior Joe Pearlman, and juniors Caleb Bolden, and Will Hlavinka to pitch the team past the Eagles. As for the defense and the timely hitting, Coach Fincher has said previously that the unselfish play of the team this year has been great to watch. Every member of the team does whatever is needed to help their team be successful.

Game one of the best of three is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:30PM at Pittsburgh. Game two is slated for Saturday at 3PM at McKinney Boyd, followed immediately by game three if necessary. The winner advances to the state semi-final next week in Austin.

Meanwhile, the Maud Cardinals are also no strangers to deep playoff runs and have another one going this year. The Cardinals are set to face Beckville in the region finals.

Game one of the Cardinals vs. Bearcats best of three is Thursday at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant at 7:30PM. Game two is Saturday at 4PM, followed immediately by game three if necessary. Once again the winner advances to the state semi-final next week.

Best of luck to both Pleasant Grove and Maud as they continue their 2016 baseball playoff journey.