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Players from 2020 throw out first pitch at Cardinal Baseball Game

2020 grads

Graduates in the dugout

Grads return to the dugout

Grads hanging out with current team

Former players hanging out with current team

Getting ready for first pitch

Avery Perkins, Cody Vaughn, and Tito Ruiz getting ready for first pitch

Grads chatting

Grads Tito Ruiz and Kameron Gehring chatting before heading to the mound

Getting ready to pitch

Getting ready to pitch (l-r:) Korrey Riddle,  Kameron Gehring, Tito Ruiz, Cody Vaughn, Braden Dobbs, and Avery Perkins.

Honorary Pitch

Honorary first pitch of the game

Malcomb threw the ball

The grads had fun out on the mound

Players fist bump

Old and new players fist bump each other

Coach Josh Bartley and his former team

Coach Josh Bartley and his former team were happy to be reunited

Group of six grads

Group of six 2020 graduates (l-r:)Tito Ruiz, Avery Perkins, Cody Vaughn, Braden Dobbs, Kameron Gehring, and Korrey Riddle.

At attention

Bat Boy Kooper Gehring at Attention in the dugout.

National Anthem

Cards and opponents stand for National Anthem

Grads pledge allegiance

Grads pledge allegiance to the flag with Coach Josh Bartley

Asst. Coach Malcomb Gehring

Asst.Coach Malcomb Gehring giving some guidance at start of game.

Josh keeping stats

Jason Smith keeping stats

Pitching

Bat Card Titus Jones pitched the ball from the mound.

Catching underway

Bat Card Kamryn Hancock was the catcher on duty.

Pitcher pitches a strike

Wayne County Pitcher Titus Jones throws a strike

Crowd watching the game

Crowd watching the game

Wayne County Bat Cards honor the 2020 Baseball Team

       It was a cold-chill moment to see the 2020 Senior baseball players back at “The Hat” field having the honor of throwing out the first pitch on April 5th when the Bat Cards played Pulaski County.

       The six graduates were delighted to be included in the bittersweet moment. It was obvious that not getting to play ball during their final year of high school baseball due to the pandemic, had been a tremendous loss for them, especially when they had put years of devotion into the sport, not to mention their families who had supported them. But, their attitudes had not soured and the experience appeared to have perhaps been a character builder for them. Their coach, Coach Josh Bartley had no doubt been a guiding force for them through such a disappointing season last year that was going to mean so much to so many – the players, the coaches, the families, the fans, and the program.

       The baseball announcer welcomed back Tito Ruiz, Avery Perkins, Cody Vaughn, Braden Dobbs, Kameron Gehring, and Korrey Riddle to honor and recognize them. “They hold a special place in our program.”

       “These Cardinals were one of the most talented classes to play baseball at Wayne County. Five of the six players in the class, started varsity from their freshmen year and beyond, while accumulating 49 wins in just three seasons. Although their playing careers prematurely came to a close, their impact on the program is still felt to this day and will be into the future,” said the announcer.

       “Throwing out today’s first pitch…the Wayne County Baseball Graduating Class of 2020!”

        The six young men each threw out a pitch simultaneously, to the current ballplayers. The current players fist bumped the alumni with respect and then they returned to the sideline each hugging their coach, whom means so much to them, before the game began.

        “When I was hired as head coach back in 2017, the class of 2020 was entering their freshmen season,” Coach Josh Bartley reflected. “I knew at that point we were looking at a season, maybe two of rebuilding, but thought we would be able to compete for the regional title once they were seniors. It’s heartbreaking and unfortunate that all those years of hard work for last season never got noticed. Those guys gave their all for our program and each other. Their impact will be felt for years to come and I truly believe, if the 2020 season had not gotten canceled, we would have had one of the best seasons in school history.”

        The Bat Cards are now in the midst of their season with a record of 3-3. The home games draw a good crowd so bring a yard chair and enjoy the concession stand and the outdoors at Hat Field.

       “I feel our team has a ton of potential lead by Seniors Titus Jones and Jacob Jackson,” said Coach Bartley.

       He continued, “There will be a learning curve to begin the season since last season was canceled and our guys missed out on a year of development. On the flip-side, missing last season should give our team a strong appreciation for playing the game and not taking it for granted.”





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