How many years have Wyatt, Dunbar baseball missed playoffs? The droughts are finally over

The Fort Worth O.D. Wyatt baseball team did something on Friday night that hasn’t been done in 52 years.

The Chaparrals secured a spot in the state baseball playoffs. Fort Worth Dunbar also broke a lengthy drought, making the playoffs for the first time in program history according to the UIL archives.

Wyatt won a district title in 1972, but that was the last time the Chaps reached the post season until Miguel Garcia laced a single to center to score Eli Washington to walk off a 10-0, five-inning win over Fort Worth South Hills in a District 6-5A game at Wyatt High school.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Garcia, a senior, who also pitched five scoreless innings to earn the win. “We’re like a family here. All these people here tonight, my teammates, my coach...we made it.”

Leading 5-0 to start the bottom of the fifth, Wyatt (15-11-2 overall, 8-4 district) loaded the bases on a walk to Abraham Caraveo and singles by Christian Jimenez and Jesus Martinez.

South Hills (8-15, 7-5) replaced starting pitcher Nick Weatherford in lieu of Michael Ortega who got a line out and strike out for two quick outs. Ortega intentionally walked Wyatt super sophomore Jorvorskie Lane Jr. to load the bases for Washington.

Washington drilled a pitch to the right-center field gap for a double to clear the bases and make it 9-0. Garcia followed with his walk-off hit and was dog piled just behind the second base bag as the team celebrated the breaking of 52 years of futility.

“It’s great because it hasn’t been done for over fifty years so it’s great to be part of it and have coach G (Quinlin Germany) leading the way,” said Lane, who went 1-2 at the plate with two walks and two runs scored. “It’s been a grind so I’m glad we got to do it together. We have a good group here so we’ll just see how far we can go with it.”

Garcia, who scattered three hits with two walks, three hit batters and five strikeouts to pick up the win on the mound, has seen a lot in his time with the Chaparrals.

“It has turned around a lot since I was a freshman,” said Garcia. “Everything is different, and for the good.”

“Miguel has come a long way,” said Wyatt coach Quinlin Germany. “I still remember his first game on varsity out here as a freshman and it was nothing to write home about.

“To see him grow from that and communicate with guys and get on them when they need it is tremendous. He’s a great leader and a great player and I’m glad he’s on our team.”

Germany also touted Lane as the “the best hitter in the United States of America” regardless of class. Lane, a Texas A&M commit, is the ninth-ranked player in the country in the Class of 2026 according to Perfect Game.

“They call him ‘one to zero’ on his select ball team because if he gets on then the score is going to be 1-0,” added Germany. “He’s the best leadoff hitter in the country. A lot is put on his plate, he’s only 15, but we ask him to be a leader and lead by example and he does a great job for us.

Germany said that the turn around for the program came about because of a lot of hard work put in by his players. The team realized that playing baseball was a year-round thing instead of just playing baseball for three months during the high school season.

They played in a summer baseball league and lifted weights with the football team during the summer.

“It’s a great moment,” said Germany. “I’m almost speechless. Lots of players from the past are here and it means a lot to this community.

“I grew up in it. I used to go to O.D. Wyatt games in 1992 when I was eight years old to watch my uncle play so it means a lot and it’s a big deal to just to be able to slay that giant and I’m glad that these guys got the opportunity to do it.”

Fort Worth Dunbar clinches playoffs for first time ever

The Dunbar Wildcats currently have an 5-5 record, and four of four of six teams make the playoffs in District 9-4A. On Tuesday, Dunbar defeated Carter Riverside 7-3 to clinch a postseason spot.

Fort Worth Dunbar baseball clinched a playoff spot for the first time in program history. Clark Photos / Dunbar baseball/Courtesy to the Star-Telegram
Fort Worth Dunbar baseball clinched a playoff spot for the first time in program history. Clark Photos / Dunbar baseball/Courtesy to the Star-Telegram

The stars aligned with a group of talented seniors, and Dunbar will finish ahead of Eastern Hills (0-9 District 9-4A) and Western Hills (2-7). The Wildcats are also ahead of Carter Riverside (4-6) and are third in District 9-4A.

The Star-Telegram spoke with Dunbar head coach Mario Hill about the program’s historic season. He said the idea of making the postseason hasn’t settled in.

“It’s the goal I’ve wanted to achieve for so long,” Hill said. “For so many years. I had been preaching to my ballclub ‘all we have to is beat two teams to get here.’”

Hill said the seniors’ experience and knowledge was the difference maker in games they came up short in last year. Dunbar was able to split the series with Western Hills; it was a key victory for the Wildcats’ playoff hopes.

“It feels great,” Hill said. “It feels like it’s a long time coming. I just wish that the seven seniors could be on the team at least one more year so we can make another run.”

Hill joined the program in 2010, and has had to navigate several obstacles on the path to the postseason. Dunbar has had to grow its program over time, and it’s been a steady process given the school has less resources than winning programs in high income areas.

Hill is also a defensive coordinator for Dunbar football. He convinced football players to try baseball -- most of the team does not have a baseball background, but over three years of practice has shown steady growth.

“I’m very thankful for this year,” Hill said. “I’m thankful for the seniors that I have and I’ll cherish these moments as they come.”