Much has been made of making a “comeback” in the realm of sports and this past week’s games involving East Union baseball and West Union softball seemed to fit the bill. Both teams showed the resolve and determination necessary to stage differing types of comebacks by the respective teams.
Let’s start with East Union since that was the first team that I saw play last week. East Union found themselves down one game to zero after being upended by Hatley in game one of their series 3-0. Austin Sanders pitched a good game for the Urchins, problem was Hatley’s Russ Johnson threw a great game in the win as he mixed up his pitches and seemed to keep the Urchins off balance. East Union could have cashed it in on Saturday and just went to the house, but they came out swinging the bats and destroyed the Hatley pitching to win 13-0.
Could the Urchins make the comeback complete? Sure did! East Union answered the call on Monday with an 11-1 game three victory over Johnson and teammates to advance to the 2A North Championship series. Cody Bo Dillard was dominant on the mound for the Urchins. Coach Chris Basil showed strong leadership in keeping his team focused.
The West Union Lady Eagles shook off the ghosts from slow-pitch season and went into Smithville to take game one of their series 5-3. With the series heading back to their home diamond, the Lady Eagles knew that the defending state champions from Smithville would be tough to beat in two games. Smithville proved that to be true as they took game two 3-1.
This set the stage for a classic, game three thriller which saw West Union lead from the end of the first inning until Smithville tied it in the top of the seventh. In the eighth, Smithville took an 8-7 lead into the bottom of the inning, but West Union showed their grit and resolve scoring two runs to take the win and the series. Both teams left all they had on the field.
I was present for West Union’s game three win and one thing that impressed me between games was the calm and confident demeanor of the Lady Eagles. There was no panic, no despair and no sign of a collapse. The players were focused, but not frenzied and that is a compliment to Coaches Lisa Bogue and Bre Anna Heard. They (the players) were talking and joking with each other and you could not tell that the season was on the line. Some were even enjoying a bag of Skittles in the dugout during the early innings of game three. Hey, you have to be having fun when you are eating your Skittles.
I need to take a lesson from our teams, no matter what the situation before me looks like, I need to be resolute in seeing things through. I saw character on display with these young people as they refused to let a glitch stand in their way of accomplishing their goal. We wish both teams continued success and please know that we are proud of you.