CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Robert C. Byrd baseball team makes its way down to Appalachian Power Park for the first time in program history.

The Flying Eagles have a chance to bring back Byrd’s first-ever state baseball title but a familiar opponent stands in their way.

RCB and Fairmont Senior meet on the big stage in the Class Double-A state semifinal on Thursday. This is RCB’s first time competing at Power Park as a program but nobody on the Polar Bears’ roster has competed at the state baseball tournament either.

It’ll be a new experience for both teams.

“I think it’ll really be a great experience all around. To be at an amazing park, I’ve just heard a lot of great things about it and I think the whole experience will be good,” Evan Warne, RCB senior said.

The Flying Eagles and Polar Bears have only met once during the regular season and the RCB players said it wasn’t their best showing.

Fairmont finished on top, 9-4, and the Flying Eagles said they’re bringing their best baseball this time around.

“They’re a solid opponent. You have to give it to them, they made it as far as we have this year. They didn’t see our best the first time around. We didn’t play the way we should’ve and as long as we do, I think we’re going to have it,” Tanner Cook, RCB senior said.

“Honestly that was probably our worst game of the season, in my opinion. We had seven or eight walks from what I remember. We need to hit the ball better, play clean defense and I think we’ll be fine,” Luke Sperry, RCB senior said.

RCB plans to keep the bats hot as hitting has been consistent throughout the season. But with these stakes, the Flying Eagles know every part of their game has to be present.

“We have to get hits. You have to produce runs, you can’t go out there and have three hits and win a game,” Warne said.

“Just every aspect of the game. We need to come out, all cylinders, defense, pitching, hitting, everything needs to work,” Cook said.

The Flying Eagles would like to secure a spot in the state championship game but no matter what happens, they were the first team to bring Byrd baseball to the state tournament.

A history making squad nonetheless.

“It means everything to go to Charleston with this group of guys.  We’re one big family and no matter the outcome, we’re going to have a good time and we set records this year,” Cook said.  

“It would mean the world. We grew up together. Played PONY ball together, did everything so winning a state title senior year, it would be the best feeling out there,” Sperry said.

RCB and Fairmont Senior compete for a spot in the state championship game on Thursday night. First pitch is 50 minutes after the other semifinal game between Shady Spring and Logan at 4:30 p.m.