UTICA, Ohio (WCMH) — On Tuesday, roughly 300 people showed up to a baseball field in the middle of farm land to watch two teams play and honor four seniors who saw their final season come to an end before it even began.
The summer classic featured Utica High School and Danville High School with the focus of honoring the two seniors on each team.
Danville High School Seniors
- Garrin Wills, 2nd Base/Pitcher
- Zane Risser, 1st Base/Center Fielder/Pitcher
Utica High School Seniors
- Brandon Piper, Pitcher/Outfielder
- Ethan Adams, Center Fielder
Danville Head Coach Brian Bratton full interview
A typical attendance for a high school game is anywhere from 25 to 75 people on a sunny summer night. Parents, grandparents, girlfriends, and siblings are the usual crowd but on Tuesday, the crowd included an entire supporting cast of people from both towns who love the #ClassOf2020.
The first pitch was scheduled during the golden hour of the day. As the sun began to set, Utica senior Brandon Piper hurled his last first pitch. This fall, Piper plans to join the United States Air Force.
“It was a good way to end it I would say,” Piper said. “This is going to be it for me. This is the last time I’ll ever step on the diamond as a player, so I’m going to take in every second of it that I can and just appreciate every little bit of it.”
Piper has played baseball every summer since T-ball. He admitted the night was a bit strange.
“This is going to be the last time I put on a uniform as a player,” he said with big smile. “It’s the end of a chapter in my life.”
Utica Head Coach Mark Sandman full interview
The young men on both teams had their senior season eliminated because of the coronavirus. But instead of feeling frustration, Utica’s other senior, Ethan Adams, expressed love for the game.
“Since I showed up, everyone has had a big ole smile on their face,” Adams said grinning from ear to ear. “It’s been a fun day.”
The players from Danville were also appreciative of the opportunity.
“It means a lot they put this together to give us something,” said Danville senior Garrin Wills.
That something given to the nearly grown men was one last chance to be a kid just playing a game with friends.