Rugby Baseball has hopes of making it back to the State Tournament, which they haven’t won since 2018. We talked with the team ahead of what they hope is a long postseason run.

The Rugby Panthers are in second place of the Class B Region Five Standings with an 8-1 record. The strong regular season performance is thanks in part to the ability to bring in runners on base.

“A lot of our strengths are making plays in the field. We’re usually pretty good about getting outs and getting out of innings when we get into jams and stuff and we’re usually pretty good with runners in scoring position getting the guys in,” Brody Schneibel said.

“We’ve played defense really well. We haven’t made a lot of mistakes in the field. We haven’t hurt ourselves and honestly we’ve thrown strikes, we haven’t given a lot of free passes on base and the pitchers have done a nice of keeping us in every games,” Travis Risovi said.

Along with the success this season has brought, the team also says that they just enjoy playing together on the diamond.

“We just love playing baseball together, we always have fun every day at practice, like nobody ever hates coming to practice, we just like being around each other. I think it’s pretty important, because it’s a long season and we have to be inside so much. If you don’t want to come, you’re not gonna play well,” Erik Foster said.

“It seems like there’s a lot of pressure on them when they’re playing football … when they’re playing basketball, and with baseball it seems like they’re able to take a step back and breathe a little bit and they just enjoy playing a sport,” Risovi said.

The Panthers lone loss this season came at the hands of North Star, as the Bearcats knocked them out of the last two postseason tournaments.

“It’s just one of those things that we know who the team is that we’re really are aiming for and we’re confident that we can play with them and give ourselves a chance to win any time,” Risovi said.

Rugby plays Bottineau in the first round of the Region Five Tournament Monday May 23rd at 11 a.m. in Cando.