Legacy came up short in its bid for a first-ever appearance in the baseball state tournament, falling 3-2 and 6-0 to Hallsville in the 4A Region II Finals last weekend. While the Broncos were disappointed to come up just shy of state, it was the furthest postseason march in the program’s seven-year history.
“Initially, there were a lot of broken hearts,” coach David Walden said. “And then probably an hour or so later, everybody’s spirits began to pick up and (we) realized what had been accomplished this year. I think by the time we got our kids home they were OK and understand that sometimes you just run into someone holding a hot hand.”
Legacy never led in the series, falling behind 3-0 in the third inning of Game 1. And the Broncos’ bats could never solve Hallsville’s duo of starting pitchers.
“Both of their pitchers were very effective and mixing up their pitches and had great breaking pitches,” Walden said. “We played well, I just think [Hallsville] had a great weekend of pitching.”
Senior Sam Mahofski was among those batters who was kept off-balance at the plate, explaining that Hallsville did an exceptional job of fooling them with breaking balls.
“Their pitchers were a lot different than anything we had seen before,” Mahofski said.
Even after the Broncos lost Game 1 – something they hadn’t done in any series in this postseason – spirits were high.
“We had a lot of confidence going into Game 2,” Walden said. “Blake Wilson has pitched incredible during the playoffs and we really felt like we’d go out there and get Game 2, and then Cole (Hearrean) would come back in Game 3 and we’d punch our ticket. That was our mindset from the head coach all the way down to the managers and trainers.”
“It almost felt like we had won the first game,” Mahofski added. “Everyone had good spirits and everyone wanted to go out there and make the run for state. I don’t think anyone was down.”
But the Broncos couldn’t get to left-hander Coby Weaver, who struck out 11 while going the distance for the Bobcats.
“We definitely ran into a very good team,” Mahofski said. “I’d be surprised if those guys don’t go win the state championship because they’re an incredibly good team. At the same time, I think we could have done a lot of things differently.”
But all that’s left to do now is reflect, and Walden is taking his time to do so. While many coaches say the next season begins the day the last one ends, the Broncos skipper wants to soak in this squad’s accomplishments a little longer.
“I had a blast,” he said. “This was a really fun group of kids to be around. They love baseball; they love playing and they love practicing. They love being around each other. We just had a blast watching those kids this entire year.
“I’ve just been sitting here [Sunday] just thinking about a wonderful year it was and reflecting on all the wonderful things these guys did,” he added. “I don’t even want to start thinking about next year for a few days. I’m still kind of hung up on these guys.”
Mahofski, who has played his final game for Legacy, says he only wishes he could live it all over again.
“We all had a great season together and it was an amazing ride,” he recounted. “The only thing I’m sad about now is that it’s all over. I wish I could just rewind and play the whole season over again. I’m not upset with how the season ended, I’m just upset it ended.”