ROUND ROCK, Texas — "Every team here deserved the trophy, but we are the fortunate ones to get it done."
From the beginning of the season, Wall baseball manager Jason Schniers has been humble. Has instilled the same thought process in his players and throughout the season has kept their mind on the right track and their eye on the prize. Saturday morning, the Hawks enjoyed the fruits of their labor.
The Wall Hawks defeated Blanco Panthers by the score of 2-1 to win the Texas 3A state baseball final and their first title in school history because of the leadership of their skipper. Schniers has led by example and it shows in the actions of his players on and off the field. Each player is well-mannered, polite, and most of all humble.
"We have been dreaming about this since the first time putting on the green and white. And to finally get here and finally do it, it is just amazing," pitcher Ryan Gully said with his UIL State Champion gold medal hanging in front of his chest.
Gully is living proof that persistence and the right mindset, the mantra of Schnier's ball club, can elevate anyone to levels some only dream about. The Wall senior sat out his entire junior year due to injury and today, he lifted his school's first and only baseball state championship trophy.
"After sitting out all last year," Schniers explained, "I knew, this year that he (Gully) would help us somewhere down the road."
Down the road was the end of the road, as Gully came in as a relief pitcher in the state semifinal against the Kirbyville Wildcats. Put on the mound, down a run in the top of the sixth inning, Sully would strike out 10 of the 15 batters he would face. Putting his team in excellent position to win the game in the bottom of the ninth when senior Gage Weishuhn hit in the game winning RBI to put Wall in the final.
Today, Gully finished the last three outs to take home the hardware. "(Gully) really helped out today, he came in clutch when we needed him to," said pitcher Luke Young, the tournament MVP.
Young started on the mound today for the Hawks and had three strikeouts and two hits coming into the last inning of the title game. "Luke was looking for a little bit of redemption from getting the losing decision in our only loss this season," Schniers said about the tournament MVP, "He answered the call and was spectacular on the mound. I'm super, super proud of that kid, he always got a smile on his face and he is definitely one I like a lot."
Today, the smile on Young's face could be from winning the state title, or maybe from winning MVP. But one thing is for certain, that smile is from learning from how to be a true ball player from Coach Schniers. I will speak for the Wall Hawk nation, Coach Schniers is definitely one we like a lot.
Schniers brought this team here with one goal. A team of destiny fulfilled that goal and left history on that field Saturday morning.