Well, we lost last night. Kind of deja vu all over again from last year. Our reward: Playing the two time defending national champion, Iowa Western, in an elimination game. Who knows how it's going to play out, but I'm pretty excited to play such a quality, formidable opponent. Also, I must say, I have had the opportunity to visit with Iowa's head coach, Mark Rardin (who was inducted into the JUCO Hall of Fame this week), and what a class guy! His team, as well. They do it the right way. Their program reminds me of ours in how they conduct themselves and how they play the game.
It's very disappointing to see some of the shenanigans that goes on in baseball at our level. I realize that we are kind of the purgatory of college baseball. Stuck somewhere between the Cal State Fullerton's of the world and the I don't know whats. We are the middle child of amateur baseball. And unfortunately, sometimes it becomes amateur hour on the field and in the dugouts with the hooting and hollering and cheering and antagonizing and sheer I can't believe what I'm witnessing and hearing. What happened to just playing the game? What happened to just pulling for your guys? What happened to just getting after it for 3 hours? What happened to winning and losing and playing with class?
By the time we take the field today, we will be playing in what is now a five team tournament. Despite our tough loss, we don't have to play any more or any less games to win the Natty. It just simply becomes a single elimination tournament for the Pirates the rest of the way. So, if we can get up off the mat, we still have more than fighter's chance. We just have to channel our inner Rocky Balboa and endure the punches of Apollo Creed, and hopefully, we are the first ones to pull ourselves to our feet in the 15th round of today's heavyweight matchup.
No matter what happens today - win, lose, tie, rainout, hell or high water - I am very proud of our boys. Of your boys. Of your 2015 Chattahoochee Valley Pirates. The have represented the Chattahoochee Valley area extremely well and have received nothing but high praise for their behavior, respectfulness, politeness, and simply their fun, kind, and pleasant personalities.
So, we certainly realize we have a tough row to hoe today (which I recognize is a Captain Obvious statement, being that we are playing in the World Series and everyone is a tough opponent). However, tough games and tough losses are needed in athletics and in life. Otherwise, we would not have anything to which the euphoria of the wins could be compared.
Triumph is only sweet to those who know and have experienced loss.
Cue Eye of the Tiger...