WA baseball star Luke Hughes says Perth Heat owe their recent dominance to the State's development program.
The Heat are in the box seat to win their fifth national championship in six years, a feat matched only by the South Australian Claxton Shield side more than 40 years ago.
Hughes, who hopes to secure an overseas contract in the coming weeks, said Baseball WA's junior system had bred lasting success.
"You look at the core players in the Perth Heat now and they have all come through the State program," he said.
"I went down to the WA Institute of Sport when I was 15 or 16 and Don Kyle was the head man down there - he had a pivotal role in my career.
"Don's given up many, many hours just for the gratification of watching us develop. He definitely hasn't done it for the money.
"Without guys like that, I never would have played professional baseball and neither would a lot of the boys."
While the US offered the best standard of baseball, the 28-year-old infielder said the WA system was working very well.
"The coaches we've had - Don, Mark Pettit, Rod Drew - they're not set in their ways; they're keen to try new things and keep evolving," he said.
"You can see it with the development of the little league, it's gone through the roof in the last three or four years."
Hughes said he was looking forward to moving into a coaching role once his playing career was over.
Kyle, the 1979 Claxton Shield Golden Glove winner, said Baseball WA's partnership with the WAIS was a turning point.
"When WAIS put baseball in their program about 15 years ago, all of a sudden funds became available," he said.
"It gave us the opportunity to run programs, buy equipment and employ specific coaches to work within the program.
"Any kid we thought had the potential to be a professional basically worked 11 months a year, and by the time they hit the under-18s, the whole standard had lifted."
Current State under-18s coach Mark Pettit said US scouts were more interested in local junior baseball than ever before.
"I think as soon as it moved under the WAIS umbrella, Don Kyle got a hold of it and really took things to the next level," he said.
For former under-14 coach Drew, the key to Perth's success was a streamlined junior system.
"I think the three teams - 14s, 16s and 18s - have worked really closely together," he said. "Our success now with the Heat is mainly because of that pathway."