YAKIMA, Wash. - The East Valley baseball team is using basic sports psychology as the squad gets ready for Friday's 2A State Semi-Final against Granite Falls. The Red Devils are trying to simulate game conditions in their practices leading up to their semi-final showdown.
Since Friday's game is a 7:00 start, Manager Jesse Benedetti wants the players to get used to playing night games. The team held an evening practice on Wednesday and again on Thursday. Most of East Valley's games this season have been 4:00 or earlier.
The Red Devils also face an imposing presence on the mound in the semis. Granite Falls sends a pitcher who throws in the upper 80's. East Valley has enlisted the help of college pitchers who throw in the upper 80's to give the hitters an idea of what they could face in the game.
East Valley has never advanced to the semi-finals in baseball, but the Red Devils should benefit from home field advantage. The game will be played at Yakima County Stadium. The other half of the semi-final bracket pits Rochester against Ephrata.