A year ago, the Savannah Christian Raiders claimed their first state baseball championship in dramatic fashion.
A year later, the Raiders are determined to bring home a second state title. This time around though, the Raiders are the ones being chased.
"It's just a bigger target on our back. Everyone wants to beat us," says sophomore RHP Kyle Hilton. "Every team we've played, we've gotten their number one pitcher, and their best lineup is at us."
The top seed in the GHSA Class A-Private bracket, the Raiders will have a first round bye.
Head coach Carl Carter likes where his team's mindset seems to be. Carter hopes a week off before the second round will help ease the grind of the season.
"You have spring breaks. You have the St. Paddy's Day break. You have the Easter breaks. You have the prom," Carter says. "To keep these guys practicing six days a week, playing games six days a week, it's pretty tough."
The Raiders say they aren't feeling any pressure this postseason, but they do know it won't be easy to claim back to back championships.
"We're keeping focused, and we know we have to work just as hard, or harder to get it back," says senior LHP Jacob Wigand.
While things have changed for the Raiders since the beginning of last year's state tournament, the game of baseball hasn't. Carter says that helps keep things real simple for his ball club.
"It takes hitting at the right time. It takes good pitching and great defense to win the game," he says. "If you don't do all three of those things, we'll be in real trouble."
The Raiders will be at home for the second round of the state playoffs. They will host the winner of Athens Academy and Strong Rock at Raider Field next Thursday.