Sometimes, the best things aren’t the games themselves

Updated: May 28, 2017

Between high school, college, and other random happenings I’m at over 100 local sporting events per year. 

Nick Meyer hands the ball back to that amazing kid. By Owen Main

Few moments struck me like the pregame on Saturday afternoon at Baggett Stadium. The person with the honor of throwing out the first pitch was a young boy who had battled cancer. As the announcer’s voice cracked a little when she said he’d been through chemotherapy for two years, the kid stepped-up to the mound. 

He threw a strike and shook hands with Cal Poly catcher Nick Meyer. The coolest part of the whole game came next. As he walked by the dugout, the Cal Poly players all leaned out for high-fives. 

It was a cool moment, and one that’s happened for other kids and honorees of the first pitch throughout the season. The looks on the players’ faces this time were not just happy, but in awe. Like they were meeting Clayton Kershaw or Mike Trout. 

The looks on the faces tell it all. By Owen Main

The whole thing was made better by the genuine excitement of the 19-23 year-olds. 

Sometimes when I take photos, I don’t notice certain things until hours or days later when I’m editing photos. In a way, photographers watch games and events in a totally different way through the lens. Sometimes, I don’t experience a moment when it happens. It’s only as I’m staring at a computer screen later that I understand the gravity of something like Saturday’s first pitch, well after it happens. 

The game

Cal Poly lost Saturday’s game. It was the first senior day loss Cal Poly has had in eight years. They still won the series — something they did in seven of their eight Big West weekend series. The one series they lost was against the champions — Long Beach State. Cal Poly finished the conference schedule with a 16-8 record. It was good enough for second place, but Long Beach State went 20-4 en route to being selected as one of the three regional hosts west of Texas. 

Because of their poor non-conference play (12-20 in preseason and mid-week games), the Mustangs didn’t give themselves a chance to make a regional without winning the conference. With their great conference play, the Mustangs made it so that another 3-5 non-conference wins would have given them a chance to be considered for the postseason. Instead, they’ll lose around 5-8 guys who contributed and the rest of the team will be looking toward summer ball and next season. 

Photos by Owen Main