Pewamo-Westphalia, Mich. (WLNS) – For the third time in program history, the Pewamo-Westphalia baseball team is headed to the state semifinals. The Pirates defeated Lansing Catholic, 12-8, to win the regional title and set up a matchup with Detroit Edison at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.

The last time P-W reached the semifinals came in 2019 — when the seniors this year were freshmen. Senior shortstop Brock Thelen didn’t get to play in 2019, but remembers that moment and experience.

“I just warmed up with the players and that helped because you can learn the atmosphere and background. So I was able to take it in and can now be prepared for what to expect,” Thelen said. “I love how I get to start there and get to end it there.”

Senior centerfielder Tanner Wirth was also on the team in ’19 and has offered this piece of advice for those that have never played on this stage: “Never think that you’re an underdog. Just come in with a hot mentality and know you can win every game you play.”

The first time P-W reached the semifinals came in 1991 — when head coach Curt Nurenberg and assistant coach Ryan Thelen were lacing ’em up for the Pirates. The two now get to coach their sons in a Final Four and create a full-circle moment.

“It’s awesome because it has only happened three times, like you said. The fact that my dad’s one of them and I’m the other two, it’s weird but I like it,” Brock Thelen said.

“It feels like we’re making school history. It’s just great to be a part of something special,” Drew Nurenberg said. “Life has always revolved around baseball. He’s been my coach since the second/third grade.”

Curt said, “These boys have been around us and we’ve been around them for a lot of years, so it has been a lot of fun watching them evolve as young men.”

“I try to make it all about them. As I tell them, don’t get caught looking in the rearview mirror. Look through the front windshield. That way you can see what’s coming and you can enjoy the moment as you endure it.”