The crowd went silent as sophomore Zeke Podgorski stepped up to the plate. After being down the entirety of the game, fans sat on the edge of their seats in hopes of a marvelous Marauder comeback. 

On Tuesday, March 7, the Maclay boys varsity baseball team went head-to-head against Franklin County. At 4:00 p.m., the game at the Maclay baseball field was underway. The Marauders started slowly with low spirits due to their loss the previous night against Florida High. All focus was placed on Franklin County, as they were beating the Marauders 4-0 going into the sixth inning. At the top of the seventh inning, head coach Drew Sherrod pulled his team into the dugout to regroup. Despite mental adversity, the Marauders dug deep and pulled off a comeback win that came down to the last swing of the bat, which ended the game with a final score of 6-5. 

“I’m so proud of those guys,” Sherrod said. “They have been battling like that all year long. We [normally] get better as the game goes on, but they’re still so young and trying to figure this thing out. I’m just really happy right now.” 

Sherrod explains that the win had to be an absolute team effort, and the effort began on the mound with freshman Ben Wagnon, then to sophomore George Grant and lastly eighth-grader Chase Fuller.

“They did well enough on the mound to keep us in the game,” Sherrod said. “Our defense struggled a little bit early, and we have been doing that lately. We need to get better at that, but [tonight] we made the plays when we needed to make them. The huge pickoff play right there at the end [sealed the deal]. I just told the guys to go have fun and be confident. They’re competitors.”

Additionally, the team’s energy deals directly with success. Sherrod believes that if the boys see someone in front of them having success, their personal energy level will increase. Though the Marauders were without runs early on, the team hardly had any strikeouts, which Sherrod was proud of. 

“In baseball, if you keep putting the ball in play, good things will happen,” Sherrod said. “It was one of those great baseball games, and thankfully, we came out with a nice win.”

Sophomore Cole Lewis agrees that the Marauders were able to improve as a team throughout the game. 

“After the loss against Florida High, it feels good to get back into the win column,” Lewis said. 

Also, with spring break around the corner, Wagnon is excited to go into the break with a win. However, the Marauders still have to compete in a district game against Marianna that will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 9 at Maclay. The team hopes to carry on with their winning record and celebrate with a week off. 

“We started out slow, but we picked it up and got the [win],” Wagnon said. “That’s all that matters.”