It's a perennial baseball power against a team with three playoff appearances in school history.

It's a hard-throwing lefty against a soft-tossing sub-mariner.

It's David versus Goliath for first place and the inside track to District 8-4A's district title.

When Stephenville (14-9, 3-0) travels to No. 2 Waco Midway (19-2, 3-0) for tonight's 8-4A showdown, the Yellow Jackets could very well be in for one of their toughest tests in school history.

"(Midway) is No. 2 in the state for a reason," said first-year Stephenville head coach James Boxley. "I've played them in the past in a playoff atmosphere, and traditionally go deep into the playoffs each year and have kids who go on to the next level."

After slugging their way to a 3-0 start in district play following Tuesday's 17-2 thrashing of Killeen, Stephenville is set up for tonight's match-up between the only two remaining undefeated 8-4A teams.

The Yellow Jackets' run to the top of the standings actually began before the first pitch of league play. They have been gathering momentum throughout their last 18 games, going 14-4 to put behind them an 0-5 start.

"We played a lot of good teams at the start of the season," said junior catcher Tyler Floyd. "We've definitely gotten better since then. This game is going to be fun. We didn't have big games like this last year. We were kind of at the back of the pack. It'll be fun and a good challenge for us."

Baseball fans couldn't possibly have expected such a drastic turnaround after the first five games, but the Jackets are playing their best baseball of the season at the right time.

"We're playing really well right now," said senior pitcher and infielder Dominic Jokel. "I didn't think we'd be playing in a game like this after starting 0-5. It definitely got a little iffy.

"We started working harder, we got back to the basics," he continued. "We started from ground zero and worked our way up, and now we're starting to produce a little bit."

Boxley will send junior Trent Morrison to the mound. He is coming off a career-best outing against Waco University last Friday, in which he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with a two-hit shutout. Of his 87 pitches, 60 were strikes.

"(Trent) keeps the ball down, throws all three of his pitches for strikes and keeps hitters off balance," said Boxley. "He makes hitters beat the ball into the ground and we just need to make sure we play good defense behind him."

"Not many guys throw like me," said Morrison who throws from a sidearm position. "That gives me an advantage. Midway is used to getting everyone's ace who throws about 88-90 miles per hour. They won't expect me to come in and throw 80 with a lot of movement."

Morrison will likely be matched up with Midway's Matthew Kent - a left-handed pitcher committed to Texas A&M University.

"We've handled left-handers pretty well in tournaments." said Boxley. "University had a lefty who did a good job against us, but for the most part our guys like to see lefties, especially if we get on base because we like to run against them."

Given the task of being the primary run producers against Kent are the usual suspects - Floyd, Jokel and Morrison. They hold down the 2-3-4 spots in the Jackets' lineup.

"Those guys are going to be big for us," said Boxley. "We have guys who can get on base, but it's going to be up to those guys to push runs across when they get opportunities. We can't strand a lot of runners against a team like this."

As of March 26, Floyd and Morrison were hitting over .400 at the plate with Jokel just shy of .300. Through the first 21 games of the season, the three sluggers accounted for 50-percent of the team's RBI total.

Win or lose, the Jackets will see Midway again in the second half of 8-4A play.

"A win Friday would be real big for us. It would give us a boost of confidence for the second round, too," Boxley said. "And if it so happens we can't get it done Friday, we'll keep plugging and put ourselves in the same situation the next time we see these guys."

But for the Stephenville seniors, an outright district championship would be the ideal way to go out.

"It would be great," said Jokel. "After having such little success in the program, it would be great pull off the upset (twice) and win an outright district championship going out."

In Waco, Goliath is waiting, but in Stephenville the underdog is ready to pounce.