|Wildcats open with Justin Northwest|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
May 5, 2006 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats know who they will face in the area round of the Class 4A, Region II state playoffs next weekend.
SSHS (21-6) will face off with the Justin Northwest Texans (16-12) after receiving a first-round bye. The site and times were not set by press time.
Northwest comes into the area round series as the District 9-4A runner-up and defeated the Dallas Spruce Timberwolves 12-0 Thursday afternoon in Justin during their bi-district contest.
Sulphur Springs will wrap up its warm-up games tonight against the Kilgore Bulldogs (21-6) at 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium before getting ready for its playoff series. SSHS ended its 12-game win streak with a loss to Robert E. Lee 12-7 in Tyler Tuesday night.
The Wildcats are led at the plate by senior second baseman Josh Riley, who is batting .517 on the season with 37 RBI and a team-leading 16 doubles. Teammate Alex Aguilar is second on the team in ERA with a 2.11 ERA with 71 strikeouts against nine walks. He has a 6-2 record for the season.
Northwest is led by pitcher Rett Varner with a 5-2 record and a 1.26 ERA in 61 1/3 innings pitched for the Texans. He also has 80 strikeouts on the year.
Nelson Windebank leads the Texans in batting average at .526, while Drew Walker has a .376 average with 18 RBI and 24 runs scored this season.
The winner of the area round series will face the winner of the Highland Park-Paris and Dallas Hillcrest series in the Region II quarterfinals. Dallas Hillcrest received a first-round bye.