Proctor, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The Proctor baseball team will be making its second consecutive appearance in the MSHSL state baseball tournament this week, with the program's only other trip coming in 1976.
"I'm just glad it didn't take another 35 years," Rails head coach Kyle Wojtysiak said. "This is another great group of kids we have coming through here, and they showed that."
"It's just big to get back," Proctor senior infielder Ryan McCarthy said,
"to try and represent Proctor in the state tournament."
To have success at state, the Rails say the team just needs to continue what it started in the section playoffs.
"We need to play our game of baseball," Wojtysiak said. "If we pitch well, get a few key hits, and the kids play good defense, anyone can win at this point."
"1-9 was all hitting, we played pretty solid defense the whole tournament, and our pitching was what it always is," Rails junior pitcher Ben Nelson said. "There's nothing to complain of."
"Everybody kind of pitched in," McCarthy added. "Everybody did their part. 1-9 was hitting, we played in the field decent, and had good pitching. It was all-around decent play."
Decent may be an understatement. The Rails beat both #1 seeds in the section en route to the title.
Now they're off to Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud, a venue with which they are growing very familiar.
"We've been to that field a few times, so it's getting easier to play in front of all the people," Nelson said. "We know the field, so that'll be a good help."
What will also help is the unselfish nature of this year's Rails team.
"It doesn't take one kid to win ball games. It takes 1-9 in the order and everybody in the dugout," Wojtysiak said. "The kids really take that to heart, and it shows."