Tracy Wood had already told his assistant coaches that he "had a feelin'."
Apparently, the Indians bats did, too.
Waxahachie slugged 19 hits and hung a 13-spot in the second inning to run-rule South Grand Prairie 19-5 at Richards Park on Tuesday night. The victory, which came on the Indians Senior Night, also officially clinched a first-ever 6A playoff berth for the Tribe.
"I'm not going to pretend and say, 'Oh, well," no — it was huge," said Wood while leaning against the doorframe of his office. As he spoke about the win, the eight Indians seniors were busy hastily scribbling down the names of parents and future college plans for the public address announcer to read during the on-field recognition.
"That was a huge W and there is no doubt about that. We talked about it during the week and said that there was no doubt about it that we had to be mature enough to understand what is on the line. They did it. And I don't know how many games we've played, but I can promise you that we haven't swung the bats like that."
The skipper was right, too.
Waxahachie had previously scored a season-high 13 runs twice in wins against DeSoto (March 11) and Red Oak (March 30). The club had only plated 10 or more runs on those two occasions, too.
They did both of those in the second inning Tuesday alone — including 12 of those runs with two outs.
The bottom of the second inning began with a fly out to left field and was followed by the first of three hits on the evening by first baseman DJ Hollywood. Jordan Fay followed with a single into left field and Aaron Tesei (1-3, 3B) then struck out for out No. 2 in the frame.
Tesei later tripled in the inning, as did Sage Hampton. Peyton Graham, Hampton, Hollywood and Fay all recorded two-baggers to complete the 13-run outburst.
Wood said he would have to go "way back" to recall a time that his ball club scored that many runs with two outs.
"When we get into that aggressive hit mode, we are pretty dang good and that is what we have to continue to do," Wood said. "I couldn't think of a better day for us to be in hit mode."
He added, "And things went our way too. We hit found every hole and hit the bleeders and high-hoppers, but that's baseball and sometimes it goes against you. Today it went for us. But make no mistake about it, we knocked the poo out of some baseballs because the air is heavy out there and we hit a lot of balls over their head."
Waxahachie scored a pair of runs in the first, third and fourth innings during the run-rule win.
Hollywood drove in a game-high four runs, while Hampton plated three and Fay, Graham, Anthony Mata, Campbell Sullivan and Tesei all drove home two runs.
Austin Gallagher added a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the fourth inning for his first hit of 7-6A play.
Tesei picked up the victory on the bump after he tossed four innings and scattered five hits and three walks. He allowed two runs in the first and fourth innings and struck out three.
Christian Gonzales recorded the final three outs, allowing one run on two hits and striking out one.
The victory improved Waxahachie to 15-10-1 on the season and 9-4 in District 7-6A. The Indians are now tied with (17-12, 9-4) South Grand Prairie for second in the district standings.
The Warriors and Indians finish out their two-game series and the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday in South Grand Prairie.
"I just get a feeling every now and then and this time my feeling was that we were going to win the baseball game and be ready to play. I think they are rising up and they knew what was on the line. There is a fine line between knowing how to rise up or raising your game up to making too big of a deal out of it and being scared. I thought we did a good job and raised our play."