Iowa Baseball Semi-Final Preview

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 11:09 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Iowa Yellowjackets are back in the baseball State Semi-Finals after falling in the Quarterfinals last season. The Yellowjackets made it to Sulphur for the semis following an impressive two-game upset sweep of second-seeded North Vermillion in the Quarterfinals where they won 14-8 in extra innings, and 3-1 to make it back to Sulphur.

Part of the reason the Yellowjackets have had the success they’ve had this postseason, despite being the seventh-seed in the Non-Select Division II bracket is the underdog mentality, which head coach Daniel Hennigan says they developed during the regular season.

“We always feel like we’re an underdog, regardless of what the record says or what people say about us, we always think that we’re an underdog. Personally, I felt like we were a bit of an underdog against Grant, especially when you get scouting reports coming in about them, so yes absolutely, we think we’re underdogs all the time, that’s why we play a tough schedule, it’s so we can get comfortable in that role.”

Up to this point, Iowa has played best-of-three series, in which they were able to beat both Grant in the Regional Round, and North Vermillion in the Quarterfinals, in just two games, but when you reach the Semi-Finals and State Championship game, it becomes a win-or-go-home, single game, but coach Hennigan says that doesn’t change Iowa’s approach.

“Well, I’d say it doesn’t because our approach is, we know that most teams are quality teams, play as tough as you can, as hard as you can, for as long as you can, and sometimes you win, which is great, and sometimes they lose, and that’s just as good, so in a one-game set you know, we’re not really changing our approach, it’s what we’ve done all year, it’s what our program has done year in and year out, and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”

The Semi-Final matchup for Iowa is an interesting one, their opponent, the North DeSoto Griffins, is the same team that ended Iowa’s football season in the Semi-Finals in November, which makes Thursday’s game somewhat of a revenge game for several Yellowjackets, but that’s something coach Hennigan doesn’t want them getting tied up in.

“I told them don’t get caught up in that, that’s not what matters, let the stories be written after the fact, but for now just go, and go play the game the right way.”

Iowa’s Semi-Final matchup is set for Thursday, May 11th, at 11:00 on McMurry Park’s Field 41.

For the full interview with Iowa head coach Daniel Hennigan, click here.