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5/28/08 - Pittsburg

Pirates Want To Make Playoffs A Tradition

In Pittsburg, they're breaking new ground. It's the end of May, and the Pirates are still working out on the diamond.

"Yeah, we're still out here," Pirates pitcher and first baseman Jared Duncan laughs. "Last year, we were home a month ago, watching the playoffs on TV. None of us last year ever thought  we'd be this far."

In 2007, Pittsburg brought home just seven wins but this season under first-year coach Jake Melton, it's been magic.

"To tell you the truth," second baseman Ryan Dube said, "it doesn't even feel like we've gone this far."

"For some reason," Duncan said, "I knew we had something special. We've got a lot of heart. We got a lot of kids that just keep fighting."

Already, Pittsburg has gone deeper in the playoffs than any Pirates team before.

"It feels great," Dube said. "No other team has ever done this before, we're the first seniors to do that."

They're already in the round of eight, and the Pirates want to turn this magical season into the start of  tradition.

"Hopefully we're starting something new here," Duncan said. "No matter what happens this year, we're building on something for next year, and the years to come."

Pittsburg will play district rival Pleasant Grove in a one-game series Thursday night at Northeast Texas Community College.

Reid Kerr can be reached at rkerr@kltv.com.

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