Herbert Hoover's demise last year was in large part due to a power outage with its hitting, as it averaged just four runs in a pair of sectional losses.
The Huskies seem determined not to let that happen again.
Zach Mullins worked five innings to get the victory, homered and drove in one run in each of his four at-bats Monday to lead Hoover to a 9-3 victory over Poca in a Class AA Region 4 semifinal at Jeff Holliday Field in Falling Rock.
The win sends the Huskies (25-8), the No. 5 team in the Gazette's state ratings, into the regional finals Wednesday at No. 9 Wayne (18-13), which rallied late for a 6-5 victory over defending champion Chapmanville in the other half of Region 4.
Hoover rapped out 10 hits against a pair of productive Poca pitchers, led by Mullins (3-for-4), Zach Wright (2-for-3, triple, two RBIs), Corey Bird (2-for-4, three runs scored) and Cody Bowen, who stroked a two-run double during a four-run uprising in the bottom of the third that quickly put the Huskies up 6-0.
"It seems like tonight we got something to fall,'' said Hoover coach Brian Young. "The first two games [against Poca], it seemed like we were hitting the ball right at people and tonight we had a little luck on our side. We got the ball to fall, and they made a couple errors.''
Mullins (4-3) started and went five innings, allowing four hits and three runs - all coming on Jake Payne's three-run round-tripper to left centerfield in the top of the fourth.
"He pitched real well,'' Young said. "He did everything we asked him to. He kept them off-balance and got ahead in the count some.''
Mullins' effort probably means Tristan Fields (6-1, 62 strikeouts in 471/3 innings) will get the call against Wayne on Wednesday as Hoover tries to get back to the state tournament. The Huskies won it all under Kevin Buckner in 2007.
"It's insane,'' Mullins said. "It's hard to believe it.''
Hoover was scuffling along at the start of the month, losing four games out of five heading into the season's home stretch, a concern for Young and his coaching staff.