Last season, the Central baseball team accomplished something that the program hadn’t in nearly four decades.
The Indians captured a district title to cap off a 19-win campaign.
With a core of returners from last season’s squad, Central hopes to do it again. The Indians begin district play this weekend with the hopes of adding another district title trophy to the collection.
“We kind of got a taste of what it feels like last year,” Central senior Parker Berry said. “We’ve got a lot of seniors this year so we have some experience. We’re going to have to take it forward and try to do it again.”
In order to get to the semifinal round of the Class 5 District 16 tournament, the Indians will have to get through Platte County.
The two teams are no stranger to one another, having just met last Monday. The Pirates won the low-scoring affair, topping Central 2-0.
“It was nice getting to play them and seeing some of their guys,” Central coach Brent Siefert said. “We didn’t play very well, we didn’t swing it very well that game. So I hope we have a better approach and handle some failure a little bit better than we did that day. I think we’ll be ready, it’s an older group and I think they are ready for this time of the season.”
The Indians come into district play as the No. 4 seed after a 14-9 record during the regular season. Despite returning key returners from the district title team like Zach Hanlan, Hunter Madison and Alex Caudill, there were still holes to fill from last season’s title winning team from graduation and injury.
The mound was the place where this year’s team had to have guys step up the most. Going into the playoffs, Siefert has been proud of the way his team has pitched all season long.
“We’ve pitched it really well, I think that was the biggest question mark,” Siefert said. “What was it going to look like, the pitching staff. It’s been really good. That’s been the one consistent thing all year.”
Siefert credits Caudill, Roy Holcomb, Skylar Kanacsky and Parker Berry for their ability to eat up innings and keep the Indians in games all spring.
After snapping a 37-year district title drought in 2018, the Indians are taking confidence into Saturday’s game against Platte County but at the same time, Central understands that it’s survive and advance.
“It doesn’t matter what it looks like,” Siefert said. “What you’ve done up until now doesn’t matter, what the other teams have done doesn’t matter. You’ve got to play good baseball, you’ve got to want it more than the other team. We’ve got to control what we can control and do the little things right.”
First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday.