Despite cancellations, Hastings is grateful for 2020 legion season
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings high school baseball players had a lot to look forward to in 2020.
In the spring season of 2019, they made it all the way to the Class B State Championship game. Wehre they fell just short in extra innings and finished at the state runners-up.
In the summer they showed they could play with anyone in the country. As hosts of the Mid South Regional, Hastings Five Points Bank was given an automatic bid. After dropping game one by a single run, they won three straight before losing the game that would’ve put them in the championship, with a Legion World Series spot on the line.
They returned almost everyone from those 2019 teams and were set to host the Mid South Regional again. 2020 was about finishing what they had started.
However, COVID-19 had other plans.
“We were just watching games get cancelled, games get cancelled, and then we hear the mid south regional and world series were cancelled,” Hastings graduate senior Mason Brumbaugh said. “We all were just kind of looking around thinking, ‘are we gonna get to play one last time?’”
They lost out on their entire spring season and it began looking like the entire legion season as well.
Eventually though, they were cleared to take the field again for two months of baseball.
“I felt like a little kid again. Going on this turf finally again, seeing the clean cut grass, seeing home plate, seeing the stands,” Brumbaugh said. “Everything rushes back to you, it’s just a great feeling.”
“It was amazing. Just a sense of joy that you hadn’t had in almost a year because of no more baseball,” Hastings graduate senior Mike Boeve said. “Just being back with the guys was a great feeling.”
“It didn’t look great, so we were really grateful when we got the chance to play,” Hastings graduate senior JT Cafferty said. “I feel like we made the most of our opportunities.”
They sure did. The Chiefs were able to get in 33 games this summer, finishing with a record of 25-8.
“This group is special in a lot of ways. They went through something that no other team hopefully ever has to go through, but they lost a lot from the spring,” Hastings Legion Coach Kevin Asher said. “They took advantage of the opportunity this summer and had a really good time.”
Winning meant a lot to these players, but it didn’t beat playing with each other and representing Hastings Legion for one final season
“Its meant everything. Its been everything ever since I could remember my dad bringing me to games and watching guys a lot older than me, then becoming one of those guys, its given me the world,” Cafferty said.
“These four years - i wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Boeve said.
The Mid South Regional is set to return to Duncan Field in 2021.
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