Warrensburg, Mo. – With 123 pitches under his brim, Skye Severns was asked if he could pitch into extra innings if needed Saturday.
He emphatically exclaimed, “Oh, yeah!”
The extra sessions weren’t needed – but Severns’ (Sr., Claremont, Calif.) intensity and readiness was surely felt in what was his first complete game on the season. And it carried the Rattlers (47-8) to the South Central Regional championship game, to be played Sunday at 12 p.m. with a chance to advance to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship at stake.
St. Mary’s undefeated blaze through the tournament and into the championship bracket is mirrored by the semifinal pitcher who helped get it there, as Severns clearly owned the mound with determination beneath his cleats against rival St. Edward’s Saturday to remain perfect on the season.
“Well, you know what, I’m real fired up today,” says Severns. who improved to 9-0 in the semifinal game Saturday. “Especially coming out and playing St. Edward’s. They’re pretty much our rivals all year long. Every game we’ve had with them has been a battle.”
Severns’ last stance on the mound was his shutout to clinch the Heartland Conference Championship last weekend that apparently gave the Rattlers’ No. 3 pitcher the momentum to pitch his first complete game.
“Skye came in from the very start and he was just getting in the strike zone,” says Carl O’Neal (Jr., San Antonio), who pitched the opening victory of the tournament.
As one of the Rattlers’ loudest fans in the dugout, O’Neal recalls his fellow pitcher’s mindset in the semifinal with a raspy, lost voice. “He did really well,” O’Neal said. “I mean, every inning he would come and he was pumped, which was really good to see.”
Clinching the Heartland Conference title and advancing with his Rattlers to the regional title game, the senior Severns lit up as his heart knew Saturday could be one of his last on the mound.
“I never want to take anything for granted,” says Severns, who struck out six and allowed just three hits against St. Edward’s. “It could always be my last outing and that’s what I was doing out there today. I was just going out there and giving it my all on the field and laying everything out there. There’s nothing to hold back for; there’s nothing to save it for. I’m just really glad we were able to get the ‘W’ and prolong our chances to get to that World Series, which is our ultimate goal.”
With a full, nine-inning game and 35 batters faced, Severns’ best performance on the came Saturday – a performance that rippled through the rest of the staff.
“Skye is like an older brother to all of us,” says Rene Solis (So., San Antonio), who picked up the quarterfinal win Friday. “He is a senior and he shows that seniority, and he keeps us in the game even we aren’t playing and even when we’re practicing. Every time he goes out there he goes out there to pitch. He just has the mentality that he is going to dominate the game and go as long as he can until we get the ‘W.'”