ST. JOSEPH (WCIA) — St. Joseph-Ogden baseball are heading into regionals as the team to beat, sitting in first place. The Spartans are 27-7 overall and 8-1 in the Illini Prairie Conference. Their only conference loss has been to Monticello.

The Spartans have a deep roster this year with pitchers, plus have hot bats at the plate. Head coach Josh Haley says he holds his team to high expectations each year to perform with intentions to make it to Peoria.

“Well we’re focusing a lot of small details right now,” Haley said. “Small details help you to advance in the postseason so we’re worrying about the controllable details, base running, communication on defense, and then really executing. You’re going to have to execute in the postseason with the small details.”

“I think that our pitches have been very good in the strike zone,” SJO pitcher Connor Hale said. “I think that a lot better these last couple weeks. I feel like our communication has gotten a lot better. I think our hitting has just been there the entire year so I don’t think we really had to worry about that too much going into postseason.”

SJO has one more game before postseason begins. They play Tri-Valley at home Monday.