The few, the proud, and the emotional – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

Sports trigger so many emotions.

One minute, a call goes against your team, and you find yourself trailing at the end of the game. The next, you’re celebrating a walk-off victory after multiple mental errors from the other team.

The Point Park baseball team celebrated two walk-off wins over the weekend. There was also a lot of anger and frustration at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park during the two-day series.

Losing 9-2 and 12-1 to start both days warrants frustration. Rio Grande racked up five runs in the first inning of the first game of the important Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) series against Point Park senior pitcher Jason Kim.

The RedStorm totaled 15 hits and nine runs during the 9-2 victory in game one.

In game two of the series, a four-run third inning that included a two-run home run from Demetrius Moorer helped Point Park stay with Rio Grande, until a walk-off sacrifice fly in the seventh inning by Andy Chacon allowed the Pioneers to salvage a split on day one of play.

Day two wasn’t pretty to start, either.

At least Rio Grande waited until the fourth inning to break out the bats Saturday, unlike Friday’s five-run burst in the first inning.

The Red Storm scored seven runs in the fourth inning to jump out to an 8-1 advantage. They went on to win 12-1 after holding the Point Park bats to just four hits in the game.

Imagine the emotions after that one.

Emotions like frustration, anger, annoyance and irritation. There was no smiling in the dugout after the 12-1 beating. Point Park pitchers kept falling behind in counts and Rio Grande batters continuously put the ball in play. The Pioneers couldn’t keep up.

Imagine standing in the outfield while your pitcher is giving up hit after hit after hit, feeling helpless on the mound and feeling worse than anyone else in Green Tree at the moment, and not being able to do anything to help him. It’s not fun.

Imagine watching and listening to your coaches and teammates yell at each other in frustration as others try to keep spirits high, when really they all just want the game to end in order to move on to the next one. It’s not fun.

Imagine standing beside your pitcher, who just gave up five runs to your rival, as he throws his glove against the side of his dugout in frustration. It’s not fun.

Losing isn’t fun, especially when it’s against one of your rivals who you are battling for playoff positioning. It’s even worse when you can see them celebrating and taunting you from the opposing dugout.

Point Park did bounce back. The 12-1 loss did eventually end and they were able to move on. The Pioneers were tied at five going into the sixth inning of game two, when Rio Grande’s Kameron Herring slid past Point Park catcher Daniel Sanchez to take the lead — except replay showed Herring was tagged out three feet in front of home plate. The call did not go in favor of the Pioneers. It didn’t seem like anything was going their way Saturday.

Moorer walked to lead off the bottom half of the sixth, and scored on a Chris Hernandez RBI single up the middle.

With two outs in the seventh and Logan Linder on first, Filimon Perez stepped up to the plate and hit a ground ball to third. Instead of throwing to first, third baseman Daryin Lewis threw to second base to try and get Linder, but instead threw the ball into right field.

Right fielder Kirk Yates then threw to third in an attempt to get Linder, but missed his target, allowing the winning run to score.

Perez was chased down by his teammates after the game-winning fielder’s choice play gone terribly wrong as they celebrated by throwing water and dog piling on the third baseman.

How many emotions do you think were on the field at that moment?

Sports are cruel and can bring one a mixed bundle of joy and anger within a short period of time. That’s the beauty of sports.

The inconsistencies shown by the Pioneers over the weekend can’t continue if they want to have more positive emotions moving forward. The best positive emotion they can earn is the feeling of winning a conference championship.

After all, winning is the best emotion.