The sun had ducked behind the tall pines in the outfield and the light had begun to fade. But the bats for the St. Philip Men’s Softball team were just beginning to come to life.
After trailing most of the game against Friendship Baptist, St. Philip had slowly work its way back into contention to tie the game in the bottom of the last inning, sending the game into extra innings.
Friendship was up first and scored 1 run in the next inning before St. Philip managed three outs and picked up the bats. The first two batters went down quickly, and St. Philip was staring at 2 outs with no runners on base and down one run. Then, Paul Grantham hit a deep ball into right field and rounded the bases for an in-field homerun, tying the game up again. Up next was newcomer Shane Walsh, friend of Tim Casadonte. Friendship decided to intentionally walk Shane, who was hitting clean-up, by throwing well outside the strike zone. But the first pitch was close enough for Shane to reach. So he leaned into the pitch and swung. The ball quickly found its way over the fence for a walk-off homerun.
The victory was one of the most exciting of the season for the 2013 team, which returned to the league championship game for the first time since 2001. But while we keep score and track wins and losses, those numbers don’t reflect the true measure of the success of the team.
The St. Philip Men’s Softball Team is a ministry of the church, and we measure our success through the quality of the relationships we establish with those we play with and those who come out to support us.
For example, this year we welcomed several new players – some who are members, and some who are not. Through the ministry of softball, we developed and fostered wonderful new relationships that have carried into other ministries of the church. We don’t keep stats for evangelism, fellowship, stewardship or outreach, but those are some of the true measures of our success.
We are so very grateful for the wonderful friends, family and congregational members who came out to support us in our run to the championship game. We may have lost to powerhouse Covenant Baptist Church 20-12, but knowing we have already won the victory of the cross, everything else is just a consolation prize.
The Boys in Blue will be back on the field again soon, so be sure to come out and join in or cheer us on for 2014.
The 2013 softball team included:
- Brian “Apple” Kindl
- Chris “Hard Hitting” Heath
- Derek “Set and Spike” Swartz
- Don “Ice Cold Pitcher” Helmey
- Greg “Lighterweight” Scarborough
- Jary “Hobble” Huspek
- Joel “Triple Home Runner” Kepley
- JP “Ohio” Attanasio
- Kyle “Rip and Run” Rodabaugh
- Mark “Coach” Krynock
- Matt, Tim & Paul “Clan” Casadonte
- Mike “Chatter” Davis
- Mike “Go Daddy” Hetrick
- Mike “DL” Sebastian
- Paul “Pop Up” Grantham
- Shane “Young Gun” Walsh
- Tim “Wood Working” Weinzapfel
- Tyler “Hot Rod” Brown