SHELBY, NC (WBTV) - For the second year in a row, Crest Baseball is playing for the NCHSAA 3A State Championship. The Chargers lost the best-of-three series to Northern Guilford last season but will try and reverse those fortunes Friday night in Game 1 against New Hanover.
With seven returning starters, including four who have been starting for three years or more, Crest's path back to the championship series was pretty clear since last season ended.
"We've been tested," Head Coach Steven Hodge said. "We've had some good playoff games... had two one-run games."
For the Chargers, it's all about focusing on who they are as a team. Last year, they lost 2-1 in the third game of the championship series, with the two runs coming off a misplayed ball in the outfield. Coach Hodge always stresses to his team how important it is for them to take care of their own business, and the rest will take care of itself.
Crest, a school known for football, has become a bit of a baseball power in recent seasons, especially with back to back trips to the state championship series.
"Our kids put in a lot of time with showcase ball, legion ball, fall ball," coach Hodge said. "So it's really not anything that I've done, it's more or less our county. We are very rich in athletics, so it's kind of wanting to make sure we carry on the trend."