MORGANTOWN \u2014 For 14 years, the Morgantown High baseball team has made the trek to Myrtle Beach each spring for the Ripken Experience. At this point, the trip seems like a permanent fixture on the calendar.\r\n\r\nFor many in the program, it\u2019s tough to remember a time without it.\r\n\r\nThe opportunity provides warmer weather and national competition that provides a different look than in-state opponents. This week, the Mohigans went undefeated against an array of competition from New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia \u2014 improving to 20-2 this season. But for those who have made the trip, it holds a much different purpose.\r\n\r\n\u201cThese guys get to make lifelong friends out of this experience, and they get to see baseball a bit different than we do at home,\u201d MHS coach Mark McCarty said. \u201cI think they\u2019re a lot closer as a team when they come back from this, and they know each other much better as people.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey feel much closer, so they play that much harder for each other. That\u2019s the main thing that I think they get out of it. We\u2019ve done this for 14 years, the same trip, and the community, I think, is the main thing.\u201d\r\n\r\nSenior Caleb Taylor said the trip provides a different type of experience than the boys on the team are used to, which helps stimulate their growth as a team.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s good to get to stay together in a hotel and spend time with each other. We didn\u2019t stay with our parents at all. We were just with the team the whole week having fun,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nAs a whole, Taylor felt that the team had grown closer upon returning from the trip this season, which is an outcome that he expects to translate into further on-field success for Morgantown.\r\n\r\n\u201cBasically, you gain each other\u2019s trust. We\u2019ve already had trust because we\u2019ve known each other for so long, but spending the whole week together and having that experience expands that. Eating every meal, sleeping in the same rooms, you get closer by the day,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nMorgantown returns home at 6 p.m. Monday as it hosts Warren Local (Ohio) in an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference semifinal contest. The winner will advance to the finals Saturday, where the Mohigans will face the winner of Wheeling Park and Steubenville (Ohio).\r\n\r\n\u201cI think we\u2019re pretty much at the point right now that we don\u2019t have to worry much about what other teams have. We just need to play our best, and I think if we do that, things will work out for us,\u201d McCarty said.