NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
When John Curtis recorded the final out of their 2-1 victory over St. Paul's in last year's state championship game, the Wolves made it their mission to get back there.
"They were literally a pitch, a bunt, however you want to look at it, they were right there," says Wolves head coach Mick Nunez.
"Losing the state championship, that was definitely a factor in our motivation this year, knowing that we had unfinished business," says senior Kyle Consigliaro.
That unfinished business motivated the Wolves to head back to Sulphur even stronger.
"I guess it was kind of expected from us," says senior Jacob Scherer. "We knew that we had the talent to go back next year. So it's good to be back."
"We had seven starting juniors from last year," says another senior, Kyle McLaughlin. "We're all back this year. We have seven starting seniors. We all have that stick through our heart, that little memory."
That said, this team's memories together go back a lot further than just last year. Most of this group of 11 seniors has been playing with each other even before high school. And what they are now, one of the favorites to win state, is due in large part to their chemistry on and off the field.
"It shows the tenacity we have fighting," says senior Nick Vitale. "And we've continued to do that throughout the whole year."
Meanwhile at Brother Martin, while they may not have the same experience of 11 seniors, they're a battle tested group, including erasing a five-run deficit in the game that punched their ticket to Sulphur. They're more than ready for the high stakes of the state semis.
"When it's one game do or die, we know that we have to not press, but play our best game," says junior Trey Morgan.
What these two teams have in common as much as anything is their desire to make history. For St Paul's, they're two wins away from their first state title since 1999. For Brother Martin, the drought's even longer as they look for their first championship since 1996.
"These kids weren't even born when that happened," says head coach Jeff Lupo. "I think they kind of have an idea of what it means to our baseball program and our entire school community. But at the same time, it's all about them, and they've got to enjoy that opportunity when it presents itself."
“Getting our names on the wall like that, bringing it back home to Brother Martin, that’d be amazing,” says senior Brady Faust. “That’d be a great way to go out senior year. The rest of the seniors on this team really deserve it. We’ve put in as much time as anybody out there.”