DES MOINES — For so many years, everyone in Class 1A baseball has been looking up at Martensdale-St. Mary’s.
Perhaps no one more so then the Twin Cedars Sabers.
Not on Friday night. Not this year. Not at this Class 1A State Baseball Tournament.
It took two extra innings and lasted until the later hours of Friday night, but the second-ranked squad from Bussey made sure that a new champion will be crowned when the 1A portion of the state baseball tournament has concluded for the first time since 2009. The bid for a fourth straight title by the Blue Devils of Martensdale-St. Mary’s ended just seven minutes before 11 p.m. Friday night at Principal Park in Des Moines as Twin Cedars outlasted MSM 4-1 in a nine-inning 1A state quarterfinal classic.
“It was a special moment and I guess the boys probably don’t understand how special it was until they let it soak in a little,” Twin Cedars head coach Matt Miller said after guiding the Sabers to the program’s first-ever state tournament victory, besting a program known for having so many wins on the same stage. “The kids probably don’t realize how special some of those plays were that they made to win this game, but we made some really special defensive plays. It was a special win.”
“This team is a family in the true sense of the word. It just means that much more when you’ve got a close-knit group like this to share it with.”
The win was especially sweet to so many of the Sabers not just because of the storied history of Martensdale-St. Mary’s, but how the Blue Devils have recently made it to Des Moines to continue that success. Twin Cedars has seen several recent successful seasons come to an thanks to the Blue Devils, who have ended the Sabers own dreams of a first trip back to the state tournament since 2003 in the substate round on the way to claiming their three straight state titles.