Past keeps ROWVA hungry in tourney


 Sure, John Clark and his ROWVA High School baseball team were happy to have won a regional championship at Illini Bluffs on Saturday after failing to do so a year ago.

But losing in the sectional two years ago also has the Tigers hungry for more.

“The kids have worked hard to get this far. We’d like to play further if we can,” Clark said. “I know we’re capable of winning a sectional, it’s just a matter of how we play.”

Clark said the program is to the point the Tigers feel they can contend for a regional title on a regular basis. If the Tigers really want to impress, though, Clark said they are going to have to play consistent baseball against the host school at the

Roanoke-Benson sectional on Thursday.

The Rockets come in as the No. 8 seed while ROWVA has the top seed and a 27-6 record.

Clark said he isn’t sure how much a home field advantage is going to help R-B other than giving the Rockets likely a bigger crowd.

“They are used to everything at their field. The bad bounces,” Clark said. “But most baseball fields are about the same.”

Clark said he plans to start senior pitcher Evan Saline, who was recently unanimously named All-Lincoln Trail Conference.

“We’re going to throw Evan. He started off kind of slow this year but he has caught up the last couple outings,” Clark said.

Four of Clark’s current players started on the 2006 squad that played in a sectional contest. Clark said it remains to be seen whether that experience can help this year’s squad.

“I don’t know. It shouldn’t make any difference,” Clark said. “We’re just happy to have a chance of advancing out of the regional into the sectional. I think this team is ready.”