The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

July 31, 2013

Championship hopes in high gear for second-ranked Sabers

DES MOINES – To be the champ, they say, you have to beat the champ.

If that’s true, the boys from Bussey may have just gone from a team looking for their first state baseball win on Friday to “the” team to beat among the remaining four left in the Class 1A State Tournament field.

You wouldn’t get any argument from first-year Martensdals-St. Mary’s head coach Jon Fitzpatrick. After second-ranked Twin Cedars ended the Blue Devils’ three-year reign as the best 1A baseball team in the entire state, Fitzpatrick had a simple resounding compliment to pay the Sabers.

“They might be the best baseball team we’ve played all season,” Fitzpatrick said.

With two more wins, Twin Cedars may be able to say they are truly are the best 1A baseball team in the entire state. Some might call that surprising for a team with only one state tournament appearance prior to last Friday night’s nine-inning classic with Martensdale-St. Mary’s.

Those people would not be among those decked out in Saber royal blue. In fact, to call Twin Cedars the best baseball team in the state by the end of this year’s 1A State Baseball Tournament would be simply be a matter of meeting lofty expectations.

“It’s been 10 years since we’ve participated in the state tournament and this group had a goal in mind to do something really special with this opportunity that they’ve been working for since last fall,” Twin Cedars head coach Matt Miller said. “We know we’re capable of it. We’re confident in what we can do. We’re not just coming in here to participate in the state tournament. We’re coming in here to win it.”

“I think we have a lot more believers in our ability to do that than we did before we came up here on Friday.”

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