Heat, wind, lightning, rain and some Texas barbecue. We were able to experience a little bit of everything in our trip to Austin, Texas.
After thunderstorms our first night, a heat wave set in, bringing record highs to the Austin area. Temperatures soared, reaching 97 degrees. And if it wasn’t hot enough, we were playing on an all-synthetic turf field, which increases temperatures even more. The heat came as a blessing first, followed by exhausted players.
The scene at Tornado Field at Concordia University-Texas could only be described as nail biting. All our games, aside from Pomona-PitzerCollege, were decided by two runs or less.
The suspense built up each day, culminating in a winner take all championship showdown against Trinity University-Texas.
Just as the previous games, it was a pitchers duel, but we felt confident. Trinity hit a bomb in the second inning, but we responded with a walk, a hit batter and a balk. As I entered the game, I was confident. I had already thrown 10 plus innings, but my arm felt fine and I had yet to surrender a run.
I was living dangerously through out my outing, allowing a batter to reach base every inning. The defense behind me was strong as usual, turning two double plays in the process.
We finally broke the game open in the sixth, stringing together four hits and scoring two runs.
At that point I was sure we were going to win. We were playing good baseball and although runners were reaching base, there were no true scoring opportunities.
The top of the ninth was the closest Trinity came to scoring again. After a one out single, the next to batters both flew out to deep left. With a strong wind blowing to left field, both balls looked to have the potential to leave the park. Neither did.
As the ball was caught all sorts of emotions were running through my mind. Relief, excitement and pure joy were all there. Before I could even process what had happened my teammates hit me. Everyone was on top of me, aside from senior Kyle Chamberlain, who was lying underneath me.
There was no better way to end the day.
Chris Haddeland/ For the Review