Landry Rustin is not quite ready for the ride to end.
The Windsor senior has had an amazing athletic career at Windsor, with six final four appearances, three in basketball and three in baseball.
He will be on the mound Thursday at 1 p.m as the Knights (19-4) host Terrell (22-0) in the semifinals of the GISA Class 2A state playoffs.
“I guess you could say I will be a little nervous, but definitely more excited than nervous,” said Rustin, who is hitting .437 with six wins on the mound. “It means a lot that year after year, we have been able to have this kind of success and it doesn’t get much better than playing ball with the people I have been playing with since tee ball. Once again, though, it’s ‘win a state championship’ or the baseball season is a failure to me.”
Windsor is making its third straight trip to the Final Four. Two years ago, the Knights lost the championship series to Piedmont. And last year, they lost in the semifinals to Flint River.
This year, it’s Terrell trying to end the Knights hopes of a state championship.
“They are undefeated and I don’t need to say a whole lot more,” said Windsor head coach Bill Beatty, who is in his second year as Windsor’s head coach. “They play good defense and have one outstanding pitcher and a great catcher and they are just a solid team. There is no doubt that we will have our work cut out for us.”
Windsor will benefit from being the home team and will be led by a pitching staff led by Tyler Christian, who has nine wins this year, and Rustin, and an offense led by catcher Jonathon Osborn, Rustin, Christian, and Cooper Daniels. Osborn is hitting .554, while Rustin and Christian follow with averages of .437 and .431 respectively. Daniels is hitting .392 and leads the team in RBI.
“Christian and Landry have carried us on the mound this year and they very seldom come out of a game they start,” Beatty said. “They are quality guys who will keep us in the game.
“I feel like we will put a team on the field that has played a lot of baseball together over the years and we are ready to get over the hump and win a baseball state championship. Windsor was down for a while, but we have been winning for the last four or five years, and winning is definitely contagious.”