Several members of the team also played key roles on the Braves football and basketball teams which also advanced to the regional finals. Braves junior shortstop Patrick Fultz, the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division Player of the Year, is also a two-year starter.
“They don’t let anything get to them,” Armstrong said. “Honestly, they’re treating this as another baseball game. Whether it’s the first game of the season or the last game of the season, they kind of walk around like they’ve been there, done that. They’re not by any means cocky, but nothing phases them and that’s where the experience of being in regional games and playoff games in other sports comes into play.”
Shawnee’s senior class has also shown the younger players what it takes to be a winning program, Armstrong said.
“They’ve really taken the reins of moving this program into the direction that everybody wants it to go,” he said. “They’re the ones in charge of setting that new standard and I think that’s going to be passed on to next year and the year after. That’s what I really want the senior class to be known as.”
Cincinnati Country Day will play Cincinnati McNicholas in the other regional semifinal game at 5 p.m. at Wright State. The winner of those games will play at 5 p.m. Friday at Wright State with a state berth on the line.
The Braves have been led by their senior pitching duo of Whalen and Myers, who’ve combined for 11 wins this season.
Whalen tossed a complete game in a 9-1 victory over Northeastern in the district semifinals, while Myers tossed a complete game 1-hitter in the victory over Summit Country Day.
Whalen is expected to get the start on Thursday.
“They’ve been workhorses,” Armstrong said. “They’ve been good role models for the younger kids.”
The key to advancing to Friday’s regional final will be manufacturing runs, Armstrong said.
“(CHCA) is going to put the ball in play and they’re not going to make mistakes,” he said. “We’ve got to make them move, We’ve got to steal and take as many bags as possible. Luckily for us, we’ve had some timely hits. If we do that, we’ll be alright. Our pitching and our defense has always been there.”