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Bermudian baseball prepared for PIAA final

Note: We'll be live blogging tomorrow's PIAA Class AA baseball final here on the Varsity Beat, beginning at 10:15. You can also get updates via our @GameTimePA Twitter account

On Thursday afternoon, Bob Bonner took his Bermudian Springs baseball team for a tour of Altoona's Blair County Ballpark, the site of tomorrow's PIAA Class AA championship game. The Eagles coach wanted to try to make sure his team didn't arrive wide-eyed for tomorrow's 10:30 a.m. state final against Martinsburg Central.

"They got to go in the press box. Got to go on the field and see what it was like," Bonner said. "It was a little different experience for them because they haven't been on a field like that."

Bonner has been scrambling to make sure Bermudian is well-prepared for tomorrow's final -- a game not many expected the District 3-champion Eagles (20-7) to be in.

The coach has been burning up the phone lines, trying to get a scouting report on the Dragons (17-10), runners-up from District 6. He has an advantage: Bonner was formerly a longtime assistant at Phillipsburg-Osceola, and was still with the program when it played Martinsburg Central in the 2003 District 6 title game (Phillipsburg-Osceola lost).

"I know a lot of the coaches up here so that helps," Bonner joked. "There's information that I'd like to know that they really can't give me.

"These guys like to run. They like to play small ball, they like to hit and run. They're like a pesky team."

The Dragons can score some runs, too. They've averaged 10 runs in their three PIAA playoff games. Bermudian, meanwhile, has scored 10 or more runs 12 times this season, and has relied mostly on a balanced lineup to get to this point.

In other words, expect some runs tomorrow.

Regardless, Friday morning should be a fitting final. Both teams were considered long shots to get to this point. Bermudian, you might remember, lost their first three games of the season.

And yet, here they are.

"If you're a coach and you haven't thought about this thing, you're probably not a real coach," Bonner said. "I told the kids the other day, these are the things that as a coach you maybe lay awake and think about, 'Wouldn't it be awesome to have a shot to play for a state title.'"

Friday morning, the Eagles will do just that.