If the New Albany High School baseball team is feeling any pressure this postseason, it sure doesn't show.

If the New Albany High School baseball team is feeling any pressure this postseason, it sure doesn't show.

During a one-hour, 15-minute rain delay in a 10-1 win over second-seeded Dublin Jerome in a Division I district championship game last Friday, the Eagles joked around and played too many games for coach Bob Talpas' liking.

Although he told the players to stop, he admits he sees similarities between this year's team and another Eagles squad that made a deep tournament run.

"They are loose as a goose. They remind me so much of the 2004 team," Talpas said.

New Albany won the Division III state championship in 2004 and is two wins away from making its first trip back to state. The Eagles, who are in their first season in Division I, play Mount Vernon in a regional semifinal at 2 p.m. today at Dublin Coffman. The winner plays Cincinnati Elder or Upper Arlington in the regional final at 5 p.m. Friday at Coffman.

The regional champion advances to a state semifinal at 10 a.m. June 4 at Huntington Park. The state final is at 4 p.m. June 5 at Huntington Park.

Mount Vernon, ranked ninth in the state poll last week, improved to 26-3 with a 3-1 win over Olentangy Liberty in a district final last Saturday. Designated hitter Derek Baker hit a two-run home run and scored two runs and Ben Hoar pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and two walks and striking out three.

New Albany, which improved to 19-12 with its win over Jerome, has faced Mount Vernon twice this season in OCC-Capital Division play. The Yellow Jackets swept the series, winning 10-9 on April 19 and 12-2 on May 5.

"Yeah, we're looking for some revenge," pitcher Michael Van Straten said. "The first couple games, we didn't hit the ball too well and we made some errors. If we come out and play our game, then we should be all right."

Van Straten was unable to pitch in the win over Jerome last Friday or in a 4-2 win over Westerville South in a district semifinal May 20, as he hurt his throwing shoulder early against the Wildcats diving for a ball while playing first base. The injury wasn't serious, though, and Van Straten is expected to be available to pitch in the regional tournament.

With Van Straten, Wynston McMartin and Demaree Parsons, the Eagles have three solid starting pitchers. Parsons and McMartin threw complete games against Jerome and South, respectively, and Van Straten is the most experienced of the group.

Van Straten's pitching was a big reason New Albany upset fourth-seeded Dublin Scioto 5-3 in the second round of the district tournament.

The Eagles are playing near their zenith, not only because of the pitching but because of clutch hitting. Against Jerome, they scored five runs with two outs and Joe Morlan hit a three-run homer. Nick Bowman had clutch, run-producing hits in the late innings during the victories over Jerome and Scioto.

"It's not going to be hard to keep this momentum going," Talpas said. "Obviously, it's one-and-done right now, but we've got some good arms and anything can happen."

Elder, which was ranked second in the state poll last week behind Cincinnati Moeller, improved to 25-4 with a 12-2 win over Sidney in a district final last Saturday and has won 15 of its last 16 games.

UA improved to 23-8 with a 12-5 win over Reynoldsburg in a district final last Saturday and has won 12 of its last 13 games.

New Albany has not played Elder or UA this season.