On Saturday, the Susquehanna Valley baseball team shut down Skaneateles to advance to the Class B state semifinals.
Now, it’ll be a 1-2 match-up between the top teams in the class for a trip to the state championship.
I caught up with the Sabers earlier at their practice as they prepare for #1 Center Moriches.
“We have a lot of confidence. We we’re kind of in a similar situation for football this year, and I have a number of football players on this baseball team. They kind of like being the underdog, so to speak. They’ve been focused all year and waiting for this opportunity. They’ve earned it and now we’re here. They’re ready to get going,” says Head Coach Steve Haskell.
It’s already been a historic couple of years for Susquehanna Valley High School.
In March of 2018, the Sabers girl’s basketball team ran the table, going undefeated en route to a state and federation championship.
Then, this past fall, the SV football team took home the program’s first state title, capping off an unbeaten season as well.
Now, the Sabers baseball team is just two wins away from joining that list.
After getting past Skaneateles on Saturday, SV is preparing for a showdown in the state semifinals Friday with the top team in the state, Center Moriches.
The Red Devils are undefeated and the defending state champs.
Senior pitcher Dom Chesna and the Sabers know what they’re going up against.
“We know a little bit. But, I mean, we just have to go in knowing they’re going to be a great team. It’s going to be final four now. So, we just have to play to our best potential now,” he said.
It took SV’s offense a few innings to get going last game.
But, senior catcher Dan Matthews has trust in his team and knows what it’ll take to get the job done.
“Definitely keep up the great pitching and defense. We know we’ll hold teams to less than a couple runs. So, as long as our bats are going, we’re going to get the win.”
This Sabers team is senior-heavy, with 12 players set to graduate in a couple weeks.
Having been together for so many years has helped them step up in the dugout and be leaders amongst each other.
“We have tremendous leaders on this team. It’s hard to pin point just one person who’s a team leader. Everybody is vocal, and everybody encourages each other. They’ve done that for years. These guys hang out together off the field. They go out to dinner together. They have a great comradery. It’s really fun to be a part of this team with them.”
With, at most, two games left in their high school baseball careers, both Chesna and Matthews summed up how it would feel to finish the job for not only themselves, but the entire team and school.
“It would be the best feeling we could have. It would be a great end to our high school careers. So, it would be awesome.”
“It would mean a lot. Being a part of history again for this school, football this year and now baseball, definitely couldn’t ask for more in a senior year season.”
#1 Center Moriches and #2 Susquehanna Valley get underway Friday evening at 5:00 pm over at SUNY Broome.