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It's been 17 years since the Bastrop Bears have been to the playoffs.  

The 16-4A district team just east of Austin welcomed back eight seniors for the 2012 season and had high hopes for making the postseason after a late-season slide took them out of contention in 2011.

 "I think we have a good chance this season if we take care of business," said Mark Williams, head coach, midway through the season. "The team has come a long way since last year, we have a lot of talented young guys." 

But in baseball, skill only makes up a small part of the equation. The Bears' inability to close out tight games became a regular battle night after night, showing more the fragility of a game dependent on mental strength than a lack of talent on a team littered with promising young players and seasoned veterans. In contention for a 4th place district finish and a playoff seed midway through the season, the Bears failed to capitalize on a number of fast starts in games they could have won, and should have won, yet couldn’t finish. 

Eight of their final 12 games ended in defeat.

The majority of the Bears' losses came when the score remained close until one bad inning or unlucky bounce swung the game out of reach. 

“It’s frustrating when it happens so often,” said senior first baseman Dillon Becker, “to be that close and still lose.” 

The future is bright for a young, talented team, and even in the face of another losing season the players stuck together, showing a camaraderie and a brotherhood that rarely wavered, even if their confidence did.

“The hardest thing with these guys is getting them to believe that they can win,” Williams said. “Because they never really have before”. 

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