The Sac City Panthers, last year's State Runner-Up, return to the Final Four seeking their 6th State Championship in school history. Sac City is led by 7th year Head Coach Derek Sullivan and he has his team primed to make a run at the title, despite returning just 11 players from last year's team. However, three of those returners are 1st Team All-Big 8 Conference selections Daniel Walsh (INF), Kevin Saenz (C), and Anthony Galati (OF).
Offensively it is Galati who leads the Panthers with a .342 batting average and 43 runs scored, Walsh leads the team with 44 RBI's and is batting .316, Saenz leads the team with 8 homeruns and is batting .294, and Brodie Garner (another sophomore) is batting .313. Throw in newcomers Dan Sayre with his .339 average and team high 16 stolen bases, along with Maimu Kobayashi (.311) and TJ Wheeler (.292) and the Panthers have a solid offensive attack.
Defensively, the Panthers they are led by their Big 8 Conference Gold Glove winner, Nik McClaughry, at shortstop. Sophomores Tanner Cunha (6 wins) and Colby Harrison (4-1 with 4 saves and a 1.57 ERA) are the two top returning arms for SCC. The Panthers pitching staff is bolstered with Freshmen relievers Christian McInerney (1.64 ERA), TJ Smith (also 6 wins), Ettman Noriega (4 wins), and starter Ryan Costeiu (5 wins).
The Sac City Panthers previous 5 State Championships came in 1951 and 1953 (under head coach Jack Woerner), in 1988 and 1998 under the winningest head coach in Sac City history, Jerry Weinstein (currently with the Colorado Rockies organization and SCC Athletics Hall of Fame (HOF), CCCAA HOF, ABCA HOF, and Sacramento Baseball HOF inductee), and the most recent title in 1999 under head coach Andy McKay (currently the Director of Player Development for the Seattle Mariners).