AND THEN there were four.
Harrison Central's magic carpet ride has taken the upstart Huskies all the way to Columbus and the Division II State Baseball Tournament. Not even the most die-hard Harrison Central fans expected a post-season joyride lasting this long when sectional play began across the state with more than 200 teams vying for a Division II state berth.
But Coach Justin Clifford's charges have quieted the doubters by exhibiting large doses of resiliency, timely hitting, superb pitching and an uncanny ability to make a key play needed to reach the holy ground.
The Huskies mush on with a sparkling 23-7 record. They will face Plain City Jonathan Alder (23-8) in Thursday's semifinal game at Huntington Park. The winner advances to Saturday afternoon's championship tilt.
There is a boundless fight in these Huskies. That was reflected in the regional finale against Waverly. Harrison Central found itself in a 7-1 hole, and facing the Waverly ace.
Many teams would have packed it in. Not this bunch of Huskies, however.
They dug deep, scratching and clawing back for a cherished, 8-7, win and a ticket to Columbus.
Now with OVAC, sectional, district and regional crowns securely in their paws, the Huskies take aim at the ultimate prep goal -- a state team championship. No Eastern Ohio baseball team has turned that trick since the 1994 Steubenville Catholic Central squad.
We understand the final two steps in reaching the brass ring will be steep ones. But we also have come to realize that these Huskies are a special breed and will be up to the challenge.