Mosley seniors celebrate graduation on 6A semifinal eve

FORT MYERS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Mosley baseball team is more 500 miles from home and less than 24 hours from the 6A semifinal.

Thursday, the squad getting in one more workout in Fort Myers, where they traveled two days in advance of Friday's semifinal against Dunedin. The final practice was scheduled at 10 am ET because that's the same time the game will be.

"It's an adjustment is what it is," head coach Jon Hudson said regarding the time zone change and early first pitch. "There is a difference coming up early. I will say this: all the tournaments and the travel ball these guys play, they play a lot of ball games early in the morning with travel ball so they're used to playing in the morning--it's just they're not used to playing high school ball in the morning."

Now as it happens, Thursday night is Mosley high school's graduation ceremony, forcing nine seniors into a decision.

"The kids wanted to be with their teammates through graduation," Hudson added. "So they could have had the opportunity to possibly go to graduation up there and fly down on private planes, but these guys wanted to be with their teammates."

"We figured that we had a really good chance of coming down here, so we let ahead and made it clear that we wanted to come down here as a team," senior outfielder Clete Hartzog said. "Get our rest instead of graduating and then getting on a plane and playing the next morning."

"It was a pretty easy decision for me," senior outfielder Shane Skibba concurred. "Obviously I wanted to go to graduation and all that, but this season is so much more important to me. I feel like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it's a great way to finish off a baseball career and winning state would just mean everything to me."

They won't be missing out after all--the seniors will take part in graduation via a Skype hook up!

"I think this part of what the storm did for us," Hudson continued, "is these guys realize how important they are to each other how important family is and how important their family here is with her brother here and they wanted to spend their graduation with their brothers here."

First pitch is scheduled for 10 Friday morning.

Stay tuned to NewsChannel 7 for more highlights and updates through the trip.