The state high school baseball playoffs will begin about two hours south of here for the Alice Coyotes next Friday night.

That's when Alice will face Mercedes in a Class 4A Bi-District playoff rematch from a year ago. Game 1 of the best-of-three series is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mercedes High School. Game 2 is here at the Coyote Baseball Complex at 3 p.m. Saturday. If needed, a deciding Game 3 will follow.

The two teams enter the playoffs from different paths. Going into tonight's District 31-4A finale against Tuloso-Midway, the Coyotes already have the district runner-up position locked up. The Coyotes are 6-3. Other than two losses to Calallen, including a 7-1 defeat to the state-ranked Wildcats Tuesday night, and an early loss to Robstown, Alice has clawed its way to victory in most other games. On Friday, the Coyotes 10-run ruled Robstown, 14-4. They beat Kingsville before that.

Mercedes is limping into the playoffs. They are the third-place representative from District 32-4A, and they lost their finale regular season game, 11-1 in six innings, to Mission High.

Alice and Mercedes meet in the first round of the playoffs in 2007. The Coyotes won the series in two games, winning 3-1 and 5-1. The Coyotes moved on and lost a three-game series to Uvalde in the area round of the playoffs.