The Tigers making their second state appearance in the last three years.
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“For the past six years, it seems like no matter who’s here, no matter what grade they’re in, everyone always steps up,” says Springfield head coach Matt Weymer.
And this year, was no different. The Tigers started off the season 10-1, but were faced with adversity after dropping five of their last eight games.
“From day one, we knew we were going to have our work cut out for us,” says sophomore pitcher Dalton Donachie. “Losing is part of the game. But, you can’t let the loss get to your head.”
Weymer adds, “We knew there was going to be some lumps toward the end there. The biggest hope was that we weren’t gong to ruin our confidence.
And they didn’t. Springfield bounced back, oustscoring their opponents 55-17 during the tournament.
“When we practice well, we play well,” comments sophomore Ryan Kohler. “And it just shows off in our game. But when we play together, it always, it doesn’t matter what happens, we’re going to play well.”
Senior Cody Pitzo is the only player on Springfield’s team who played in the 2011 state final game. He says, “They focus when we have to. Once the tournaments came around, I saw the mood change. They wanted to play, they wanted to come to practice.”
Youth has been on the Tigers’ side all season long. When Dalton Donachie is pitching, like he will be on Friday, five of the nine Springfield starters are sophomores.
“They never really expected anything to be handed to them, and they came in day one as freshman, and they wanted to play,” says Weymer. “And, they’ve earned that, and they played.
Donachie concludes, “Especially the seniors, we want to do this for them, especially since it’s their last chance at state title. We’re going to put 100 percent into it every play, every practice, every second.”
The weather has pushed Springfield’s starting time on Friday back to 7:00pm. The Tigers take on Defiance Tinora.