MEDFORD, Ore. — If the Medford Mustangs were nervous at all during their last practice before headingto the Northwest Regional Tournament, they sure didn’t sure it. And why should they be nervous? The Mustangs did not lose a game in the State Tournament and outscored their opponents 37-14.
“It just kind of built up and we got closer together and I don’t know really what changed,” Taylor Raff said. “We just flipped the switch and somehow we got going.”
“We just came together well and started playing together as a team, instead of just a bunch of good individuals who play well,” David Crofton said. “We played well together, that was the big difference.”
“We played really good baseball,” head coach Nate Mayben said. “I can’t be unsatisfied at all with what we did but I think there’s things we can improve but I’ll take that effort 100% every time.”
Now Medford is back at Regionals for the first time since 2009. That team was loaded with talent like current pros Ian Kendall and Braden Shipley and college stars like Max Gordon. The ’09 Mustangs advanced to the American Legion World Series and finished in second place. A lot of the current Mustangs were in middle school during that run and remember looking up to that team. Now, they’re the first group since that 2009 team to make it back to this stage.
“I watched them when I was a little kid and saw how good they were,” Crofton said. “It’s just weird to think that we’re at that level now. We’ve watched them ever since we were young kids and to be compared to them even is an honor.”
“We all looked up to them and like wow we want to be them some day and I mean we’re getting closer,” Isaiah Luzny said. “Relatively close, nothing is ever going to be like that team exactly but I think we’re ready to fill those shoes and we wanted to be something like that, a team that will be remembered.”