Robstown had to wait an extra week to start the Class 3A baseball playoffs, but the wait ends tonight when the Cotton Pickers start the postseason against the Port Isabel Tarpons at home at 7:30 p.m.

The series takes a break on Friday and resumes with games two and three, if needed, Saturday in Port Isabel.

The Cotton Pickers had been idle for almost two weeks because of the threat of swine flu and then because their regular-season finale was cancelled.

Now the 'Pickers are ready to start the playoffs, their first in Class 3A after dropping down in classification from 4A.

Longtime Robstown skipper Steve Castro said the 'Pickers are ready to play ball after the long lay off.

"We're ready to play. We would have liked to have played the regular-season finale," Castro said. "But we've been working hard to stay focused and sharp."

Port Isabel has a one-two pitching combination, but Castro said they are ready to play small ball, if that is what it will take to win the series.

"We don't know much, but we do know that they throw a lefty or righty on the mound," Castro said. "They are a contact hitting team that puts the ball in play. They aren't an overpowering team and they like to play small ball."

Castro said they will also have to execute their own small ball plan and hope their pitching comes through in the clutch.

"We have to do a lot of the same thing," Castro said. "It's going to come down to pitching for both teams. They have some losses this year, but when those two pitchers are in the game, they kept them in ball games."