Sioux Falls, SD
The Roosevelt baseball team is the reigning class "A" state champions and enters this weekend's tournament as the top-seed. We caught up with the Rough Riders before their title defense begins.
Roosevelt returns to the state tournament after a historical run last season. The Rough Riders completed the first undefeated season in class "A" history, finishing 33-0 while capturing the program's first state title since 2013.
"Every year's a new year and new expectations but we took that motivation from last year and kind of kept it going this year to get us back to where we are," Gus Radel said.
This year's team is 18-4 but enters the tournament on a 10 game win streak and as the number one overall seed.
"We worked all season for this goal and we took this season like it was a new season and never took anything for granted," Radel said.
Head coach Joel Sage says the Rough Riders will have to stick to their team mentality if they want to repeat as state champions.
"All 18 players have chipped in one way or another throughout the season to help us secure the number one seed and then advance through regions so I'm excited to see who will step up and who will have a great game," Sage said.
The Rough Riders are looking forward to their opportunity to defend their state crown.
"I'm really excited about that it's going to be awesome to get out there and play at Canaries' stadium and I'm really excited. It's going to be a great opportunity with my teammates," Ausitn Portner said.
First pitch in the semifinal game between Roosevelt and Brandon Valley is set for 12:00 on Saturday at The Birdcage in Sioux Falls.
The championship game is scheduled for 5:00.
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