DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) — Just 21 outs stand between the Delphi baseball program and a birth in the class 2A state championship game at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
The Oracles have reached the state's final four for the first time since 2010, on the backs of an experienced class of seniors. It's a team that came into the season hungry after never seeing the diamond a year ago due to the pandemic.
Delphi's eight straight wins have come against some of the state's best in class 2A. Victories over Seeger, Rochester and ultimately a 29-1 Wapahani team bring the program to the precipice of the ultimate goal. A state championship.
They've reached this point by simply "simplifying" the game. The Oracles focus on bare bones baseball, one out at a time.
"We eliminate a lot of the errors you can make, you know trying to do too much," said senior shortstop Evan Fritz.
"One of the mottos we like to use is, 'stay within yourself' and do everything that we can, and try not to do too much," Said Fritz. "When you try to do too much, that's when you are going to make those errors, you know swing through hittable baseballs."
It's an approach that starts with the head coach, and trickles down through the senior leadership.
"We get three outs," said senior Gavin Gleason. "We make sure we get every play made, every out, every strike and we keep that focus the entire game to make sure we come out on top."
Oracle head coach Ryan Long has been to this level of the tournament before, bringing two different Frontier squads to the semi-state. He's done it again at Delphi by minimizing the pageantry around the game, and instead focusing on fundamental baseball.
"We go back to the basics and work on the fundamentals, the very basic parts of baseball and make sure we are as sound and ready as we can be when we step on the field Saturday," said Long.
"We will be prepared and we gotta do the little things right to win."
First pitch between Delphi and Eastside will be at 1:00 PM Eastern Time Saturday at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. The winner will play the winner of the south semi-state game between University and Providence.