After three years watching the talented core team develop through the ranks and enjoying significant accomplishments along the wayoptimism was in the air.
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However, the year was not without some adversity - a change in coaches and the defection of two quality seniors to other sports. The Eagles got off to a mediocre start and stood at before reeling off 10 wins in their next 11 games.
This year's run was every bit as exciting as last year's march to the Class A Finals. In the playoffs, the Eagles won a game vs Edward Little that could have gone either way and then lost a game to Oxford Hills in a game that also could have gone either way.
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Such is the game of baseball and the nature of one game playoffs. The Eagles pitching was strong.
Garrett Moody dazzled his teammates and fans and baffled opposing hitters throughout the year with his assortment of fastballs, curves, and off speed junk meant as a very complimentary term. Garret knows how to use the strike zone and let his defense make the outs for him. Kaileb Hawkes and Hunter Lohr were a couple of fire-ballers who provided depth to the starting rotation.
And when opposing teams threatened in the late innings, Cam Grant came on throwing smoke and painting the corners. This was a team effort with the whole bench chipping in. The accolades keep pouring in.
The Eagles received many post season accolades as listed above.
However, the awards did not cover all the categories. I have added my awards. As always, they are given in good humor. And if you did not get an award, go ahead and give yourself one. And the submit it to me, and I will post it. Because if you read it on www. The award goes to Austin Damon, who would deliver the game winning hit after fixing all the world's other problems. Tools of Ignorance Award goes to Nate Leslie.
When last year's catcher Cam Cox graduated, the Eagles faced a dilemma.
Hunter Lohr was the back up, but he also pitched, played second base, and center field. Was there a better option. Now introducing Nate Leslie, a barrel-chested former third base man with soft hands and a bazooka arm. Never played catch before - no problem! Nate came in, handled pitchers, caught flawlessly, threw out runners who challenged his arm, and of course, continued to sting the ball at the plate. To be or To-bin Award goes to Devin Tobin, who paradoxically chose both.
Devin developed into an offensive threat during the season and we have high hopes for him next year Hunter Gatherer Award goes to Hunter Lohr who gathered multiple hits Attitude Award goes to Garrett Moody who isn't for his innate baseball skills.
Garrett knows how to pitch not throw and he knows how and when to execute all the little things that add up to winning games. Maybe it was his destiny to win this award.
This award is also aka Worth the Price of Award Admission. Okay, technically, there is no price of admission to MTA games, but I certainly would pay to watch Hunter. When on the mound he has a combination of Mark Fidrych's quirkiness and Louis Tiant's twisting and turning deceptiveness.
He also has both of their talent and winning genes. Besides the fact that Dakota developed into one of the better hitters for the Eagles, his name also reminded me of one of my favorite programs and one of its favorite characters. The Merrill Auditorium Award Austin Damon may have a field named after him, but Nick Merrill does him one better with an auditorium named after him. I am not sure Merrill Auditorium is big enough to hold all the awards Nick has won. This year Kyle delivered more hits and just as many key RBIs Lobsterman of the Year Award goes to Kaileb Hawkes, who undoubtedly developed his brawny physique and good looks from years of pulling lobster traps.
BTW, Kaileb can also hit, hit for power, throw, catch, and pitch. Not so sure about the running part. Huston, we do not have a problem Award goes to Liam Huston. Liam's presence in the dugout or anywhere actually is a valued commodity.
His leadership, guidance, and sense of humor are priceless. Best Pinch Hitters Ever goes to Cole Bryant, who joins this list of illustrious major league pinch hitters. Cole ended up hitting. Taken for Granted Award goes to Cam Grant, who played a flawless third base, belted out the long ball, and came on in relief to put out the fires in the closing innings.
No bigger a problem presented itself than who would replace Eagles stalwart pitcher, Alana "Dream' Weaver. The season took a serious hit when highly rated pitcher, Holly Temple, went down with a back injury and saw very limited action in the field and none on the mound after the first game.
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This deprived us of seeing the Temple sisters working in tandem in front of and behind the plate. Additionally, the Eagles lost the services of Belle Benner, the uber centerfielder, who missed the majority of the season with mononucleosis.
Captain Zoe Stilphen steadied the tiller through this storm and as usually happens, other girls stepped up. After a rocky start, the Eagles roared back and qualified for the play-offs. I have a few awards of my own to hand outcomplete witha musical tribute.
As always, if you didn't get an award, go ahead and gie yourself one. In her fourth year in the league, other teams knew about the legendary powers of Kayleigh Temple's arm. Run on her, they did not. Maybe they should have learned not to pitch to her either. Kayleigh ended up bashing. My name is Zoe Award goes to Zoe Stilphen, of course.
Zoe moved from third base to shortstop this year.
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