MT. VERNON – One by one Rams baseball players walked up to Brennan Klein field Wednesday.
It was the day after the biggest win in the program's history and the evening before their departure for the 3A state finals in Joliet.
For them, it was just back to working hard.
“This group doesn't get shook. They're very loose,” Mt. Vernon coach Tim Holloway said. “They're very confident, and it shows on the field.
“They will represent our school and Mt. Vernon well.”
The Rams face Joliet Catholic at noon Friday in the state semifinal game. The Hilltoppers have ripped through their competition in the playoffs. Joliet Catholic allowed just a single run in the opening four rounds. The Hilltoppers beat Chicago Harlan 5-3 in the super sectional to qualify for state.
Joliet Catholic has racked up five straight regional titles and during a run from 2008 to 2010 placed all three years at the state finals.
“I'm aware of what they've done, but we're not worried as a team about anything but us going up there and playing against the ball,” Holloway said.
Center fielder Landon Thomas said he thought the team had a chance to make a deep run at the beginning of the season.
“It's a reality now,” Thomas said. “It's fun just fun to think about it and the path that we took to get here. And now (today) we're leaving. We're just going to come ready to play.”
First baseman Colten Meador added that he travels north without nerves, just confidence in his team.
“I think we're such a fun group of guys, and we don't really take things to be nervous,” Meador said. “We do our thing. We play baseball and whatever happens happens.”
The Rams have been solid in all areas of the diamond, but the team's unselfishness helps it stand out.