For the third consecutive year, the Carlisle Indians are one step from state. For the third consecutive year, the same East Texas rival is standing in the way.
"We have been here before, and we are kind of used to it," senior shortstop Caleb Colley said. "We know how to prepare and how to go into the game. It is still pretty exciting."
How can it not be. The defending state champions have a chance to repeat. The same old other Indians of East Texas in Douglass are the only team separating Carlisle from the state tournament.
"We have beat them the last couple years and I think we can beat them again," senior first baseman Kolton Heim said. "We have a strong team hitting wise, fielding wise, and I just think we are overall good."
Carlisle has taken down Douglass the previous two years in the regional finals, and they plan to use their postseason success to their advantage. "Its just like any other series, we are going into it not even thinking about them," senior second baseman Ty Baker said. "We are going into it trying to keep playing Carlisle baseball and capitalize on things."
Senior pitcher Zach Brightwell added," I like pressure, I mean most people aren't like that, but I like the pressure. We have to know what we are there to do. We have to play our game."
For head coach Wesley Colley and son Caleb, this potential last trip to state would be extra special.
"This is my last year and to go out like this hopefully try to get another state championship under our belt but its pretty fun and a good experience to have," Caleb said.
Carlisle and Douglass will play a best of three series beginning on Thursday.