"It was a huge accomplishment to get there last year, to get to states. Last year our goal wasn't to win a championship. Our main goal was just to get there. This year, our goal is to win a state championship.''
The Huskies lost just three senior starters off last year's squad, although one of those was Zach Mullins, a top pitcher. Tristan Fields (8-1, 74 strikeouts in 611/3 innings) will anchor the staff this season.
Bird hit .483 last season and was a first-team all-state outfielder. Other returning starters include second baseman Hunter White, shortstop Ryan Shamblin, first baseman Austin Thomas, third baseman Cody Bowen and catcher Scooter Farmer.
"They've worked hard in the off-season,'' Young said, "and played a lot of ball together and in the summer, and they've come back with a good focus and ready to go. They've been working hard for us and even with us being inside a lot [because of the weather] they haven't let up at all. So we've been really pleased with that.''
In Saturday's opener, Bowen came within one out of pitching a mercy-rule no-hitter, but Zach Perry's two-out single in the top of the fifth scored Seth McMillion with the only run for Tolsia (0-4). Bowen fanned 10.
Shaun Dotson laced a three-run triple for Hoover and was one of six Huskies with two hits apiece - the others were White, Shamblin, Bowen, Thomas and Bryan Crosier.
In the second game, three pitchers - Matthew Justice, Farmer and Joel Ridenour - combined on the shutout. Matt Holstein went 5 for 5 with five RBIs, Ridenour was 4 for 4 and drove in a pair and Timmy Hopkins (2 for 3) had three RBIs.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.