Bozeman hosts Northview in Region 2-1A baseball semifinal

Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 at 03:36 PM.

SAND HILLS — A winning tradition can be a burden or a blessing.

Perhaps it has been a little bit of both for this edition of Bozeman baseball, which takes a 19-7 record into its Region 2-1A semifinal 7 p.m. Tuesday against visiting Northview, 15-6.

The winner meets the Chipley-Liberty County survivor for a berth in the Class 1A Final Four. For Bozeman, it would be a third consecutive trip to the state semis.

“It’s been kind of funny, to be honest, but I think they’ve settled into it,” Bucks coach Jeff Patton said of Bozeman’s baseball tradition, which has become the school’s athletic identity.

“I think the pressure was” to get into the region playoffs. “In two district games, we played more as a team than I’ve seen us all year. During the year they would get onto themselves so badly. In the district tournament it was like, ‘Hey, pick me up. Our individual stuff doesn’t matter anymore.’”

Patton sensed a higher stress level in preseason while the roster was settling into becoming a ballclub.

“I think this team decided we’re not going to be the ones that didn’t hold onto the rope,” Patton said. “That ended the playoff run. I saw a look in their eyes in district like, ‘We’re not going to let this get away from us.’ So it’s more like taking a deep breath now and let’s go play.”

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