[LYNCHBURG] Unlike most other situations, in sports, it’s usually a good thing when roughly 20 people sprint toward each other at full speed and collide.
After Glen Allen beat Jefferson Forest 9-3 to clinch the 4A state baseball championship on Saturday, the team had plenty of energy left to storm the infield and sandwich together in a teal and white heap.
It was a lot closer, both physically and metaphorically, than the team was at the beginning of the season.
“We had a lot of self individuals at the beginning of the year, kind of looking out for themselves,” senior left fielder Patrick Hall said. “I think everyone realized that individually, we’re nothing special, but together, we’re something special.”
Together they may have reaped those benefits, but coach Dave Savino saw his team’s nine runs and 12 hits as par for the course.
“I don’t want to sound cocky, but we’ve been doing this all year,” Savino said. “This is how we perform offensively.”
In the first inning, Glen Allen looked shaky. The game's first play was an error on second baseman Adam Collins that allowed a runner to reach base, and pitcher Austin Slough gave up a run that allowed Jefferson Forest a 1-0 lead.
After those nine runs and 12 hits, it was a different story.
Once he settled down, Collins went on to hit a triple and double in addition to sacrifice bunting.
“I’m not going to lie, I had the jitters. I was so nervous,” Collins said. “But then once we put up the runs, I was like ‘All right, we’re groovin.”
By “groovin,” he meant a five-run second inning that assured the Jaguars never trailed for the rest of the game.
After Garrison Wright doubled to right-center – it almost looked as if he could have tripled – designated hitter Holden Davis reached base on an error, which also scored Wright. Right fielder Cole Blackman was hit by a pitch, moving Davis to second. With the help of a wild pitch, a single by Slough and Collins’ triple, they all reached home plate, giving the Jaguars a 6-2 lead.
Davis pitching four scoreless innings also didn’t help Jefferson Forest’s plight.
After the final out, Hall was in the pileup, caught somewhere between Davis and the light of day. Even with hundreds of pounds of Jaguars weighing down on him, Hall was happy with his situation – and the team’s season.
“I was like, 'Well, I’m in this now, so it doesn’t matter,'” Hall said. “It was totally worth it.”