You would have to go back to the spring of 1999 to find the last time that PNG and Nederland brought their Mid-County Madness into the Regional Quarterfinals. And just like that faithful weekend in may, the Bulldogs are hoping history repeats itself.
"It would be a huge victory for us," said Nederland senior Landon Hiltz. "Just cause it's PNG, it's Nederland. Anytime you beat PNG it's a big win so I think it's like any other time we play them, just the stage is a little bigger."
Even though Head Coach Bryan Spell understands the magnitude of this rivalry, for he and his Bulldogs it's just another roadblock in achieving the school's first State Championship."I think the biggest thing for us is the opportunity to continue to move on.You know we talked about it before we played Angleton, you earn the right to spend another week together as a team. So regardless who's in that other dugout, we know it's Port Neches, we're not kidding ourselves. The opportunity to play one more week together and advance in the playoffs is bigger to us than beating a rival or anything else."
After losing four-straight to the Bulldogs, Indian Coach Scott Carter welcomes the opportunity to prove they're a much different team than previous encounters."We realize they're a good baseball team. I mean they're well-coached, they do a good job over in Nederland, they always do. It's always a battle I think you can throw the record books out. This is the third round of the playoffs and we're different team now, they're a different team now. I think we show up and just try to play our best baseball."
Since 1925, the Indians and Bulldogs have battled for bragging rights on the football field, and for both teams this Thursday things will be no different on the diamond. "I dont' know if you can really put a measuring stick on football and baseball Mid-County Madness, but they're both really special and there will be a lot of people at the ballgame. For us to get a win this weekend and move on would be outstanding for our community and all the players that have worked hard this year. I know they're really working hard over there to do the same thing, so it's just going to depend on who shows up and plays that day."