LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — When Holden Fiedler decided to come back to the University of Lynchburg for a fifth year, little did the catcher know that the Hornets would go on a run like this.
“This is more than what we could’ve asked for,” Fiedler said. “We came into this season knowing that we had the ability to win an ODAC, to make a regional and in our career we hadn’t won a regional.”
That changed last weekend when Lynchburg defeated Lebanon Valley to punch its first-ever ticket to Super Regionals. Now the Hornets get to host a best-of-three series against Shenandoah, the same team they had to beat win an ODAC title earlier this month. This season, Lynchburg is 3-1 against their conference foe.
“I think it’s helpful for sure just having a familiar face and having a good game plan going into the game,” Fiedler said. “I think it’s important for us to take a step back and look and go, not to take it for granted. Not to think that because we’re 3-1 against them we’ve already got it in the bag.”
Senior pitcher Zack Potts believes the team’s strength comes from the mound. And that a staff that includes the ODAC Pitcher of the Year can carry Lynchburg to the Division III baseball championship in Iowa.
“It’s about us rather than trying to play down to the opponent’s weaknesses. It’s more about playing to our strengths,” Potts said. “If you look at just baseball in general, good pitching is going to beat good hitting most of the time. That’s really how we approach it. Getting that confidence as a staff and that really has prepared us throughout the season.”
And focusing on a familiar opponent in a best-of-three showdown, without having to travel, might be what keeps Lynchburg’s historic season alive.
“A three-game series favors us pretty well I think with us having a really good three starting pitchers and a deep bullpen, that’s definitely one of our strong suits,” senior left fielder Avery Neaves. “And then just going into it feeling comfortable at home is another thing too. Our experience at City Stadium, we’ve had good success there.”
Win or lose, simply making it this far is something worth celebrating.
“It’s crazy just to see how much has changed since I got here,” Fiedler said. “It’s a true credit to the coaching staff and how much they’ve put in and the culture change and how we’ve been able to support that through the years.”