For the second weekend in a row, Hallsville fans will be making a trek to central Texas.

A week after the Hallsville Ladycat softball team participated in the UIL State Softball Tournament, the Hallsville Bobcat baseball team takes centerstage at the UIL State Baseball Tournament.

The Bobcats (32-8), under veteran head coach Scott Mitchell, will take on Leander Rouse (30-10) in a Class 5A semifinal game at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The other semifinal pits Barbers Hill (35-8-1) against Amarillo (33-9) at 4 p.m.

The championship game is set for noon on Saturday. All of the 5A games are scheduled to take place at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

Hallsville ended the regular season with back-to-back losses to Sulphur Springs and Longview and had lost three of four heading into the postseason before flipping the switch to playoff mode.

After sweeping Huntsville (5-0, 4-1) to begin the playoffs, the Bobcats took two of three from Joshua (8-3, 0-1, 12-1) and then swept Marshall (5-0, 9-1), Lucas Lovejoy (9-8, 5-2) and Frisco Wakeland (3-1, 7-1) to earn the program’s second trip to the state tournament — the first since 2014.

Leander Rouse lost two of three before the playoffs began, and then faced elimination in each of its first two playoff series against Comal Canyon (7-5, 0-13, 14-4) and Floresville (0-1, 4-1, 11-5). The Raiders then defeated Cedar Park in a one-game format (3-1) before sweeping Gregory-Portland (5-2, 3-1) and Dripping Springs (11-1, 2-1) to reach the state tournament for the first time in program history.

East Texas has a chance to bring home championships in Class 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A this week.

In Class 2A, Garrison (22-8) meets Bosqueville (35-3) in the semifinals at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Dell Diamond. In Class 3A, Malakoff (36-7) faces Gunter (36-8) at noon on Friday at Dell Diamond and in 4A Rusk (27-7) faces Sinton (33-4) at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at Disch Falk Field in Austin.

State title games are scheduled for 9 a.m. (Class A) and noon (2A) at Dell Diamond and 6:30 p.m. (4A) at Disch Falk Field on Thursday and 9 a.m. (3A), noon (5A) and 4 p.m. (6A) on Saturday at Dell Diamond.

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Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports

Sports editor

I've covered sports in East Texas since 1987, starting as a 21-year-old sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald before spending seven years at the Lufkin Daily News and the past 23 years at the Longview News-Journal.