Dozens of fans from both sides packed Whitehouse Field on a hot Thursday afternoon to watch the thrilling local battle. With four-year head coach John Havey retiring at the end of this season, Sturgis aimed to put his departure on hold for one more game. Captain Jared Joy, the prospective UNH student and the only senior on the team, had extra incentive to win as well. Combined with a talented young core of three starting freshmen, two starting sophomores, and three starting juniors, this band of brothers was not ready to hang up the cleats just yet.
As soon as the home plate umpire yelled “Play ball!” at 4:15 pm, Sturgis East came out firing on all cylinders, as Andrew Williams’ two-run RBI single gave the Storm 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The bench roared with cheers as the team congratulated upperclassmen Seamus Devine and Jared Joy for scoring.
Although the players were surely disappointed by the loss in Harwich, the boys baseball program had progressed greatly and certainly exceeded expectations this season. The Storm finished with a record of 10 wins and only 6 losses, four fewer losses than the previous year. With a young underdog team that had four times as many starting freshmen as seniors, the group took the league by storm and managed to put together a great run. Notable games include Sturgis’ nine-inning nail-biting 12-8 win against Cape Cod Academy and a hard-fought 7-4 loss against reigning D4 state champion PJP High School.
No one knew how this team would fare. Doubts began to approach the team after its opening day 13-6 loss to rival Sturgis West. However, the boys baseball team knew how to put their personal differences aside and work together towards their common goal of a state tournament appearance. It was not always easy, but through a resilience and refusal to quit, this squad came from behind to win on four separate occasions.
Next year is sure to be another promising year as the team has ten more months to build chemistry and mature in technical skills. While the Storm fell in their quest for the elusive second win in the state tournament, the team is poised to come back stronger and more mature than ever next March!