Yellowjackets Make School History With Final-4 TripPosted: Updated:
The Madrid-Waddington Yellowjackets are off to their first-ever state final four on the baseball diamond.
They'll take on Fort Plain in the state Class D semifinals on at 2 p.m. Friday at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton.
Yellowjackets Coach Justin Richards says thanks to the weather, it's been a season of highs and lows.
"Unfortunately we lost five games this season because of rain-outs and it's been probably one of the worst springs I've ever coached," he said, "but yet it's been one of the best seasons I've ever coached."
The 12-1 Yellowjackets are entering uncharted water in the state semis, but the players say there's no pressure on them and they don't plan on changing their approach this weekend.
"Well, this is the first final four for any of us and we're just going to go in there and have fun and play baseball and give it all we got," Shane Tiernan said. "We don't really have anything to lose, we've already proved we're good enough to be there and we're gonna go there and have fun."
"Main thing we've got to do this weekend is get the bats going, wake them up a little bit, get some good bats going, so that's really it," Shea Putney said. "Good pitching, which I'm sure Shane will do an awesome job, he always does."
"I think we need to keep our confidence," Ryan Van Patten said. "We've been confident in all our games this year and it's been good for us and if we go down there and know we're the better team, I think we can win."
Richards says the Yellowjackets will face their toughest challenge to date against Fort Plain, but says Madrid-Waddington needs to do a few simple things to advance to the title game on Saturday.
"I know Fort Plain has a very good team -- they have been for quite some time, they're well coached, well prepared," Richards said. "I know that we have to be able to cover the bunt situations, we have to be able to field the ball and I know, like I said, the forte we've been doing all year long is put the ball in play, don't take called strike threes -- make the pressure put on them."