June 3, 2007
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Not Over Yet
Post-Game Column By Rod Williamson
I'm disappointed the good guys didn't win Saturday night. But that is absolutely all I am disappointed about. I've never been known to be gracious in defeat but I can't recall being more proud of our team and our crowd than tonight.
The Commodores have played better baseball than they did tonight, although credit the Big Ten champions for bringing their "A" game to Hawkins Field. Once again we looked a bit lost trying to solve a good pitcher having one of those special nights. Tonight that guy was 6-6 sophomore Mike Wilson; he was strong right up through Matt Meingasner's game-tying home run in the eighth.
Our mini-rally in the ninth showed heart, something we've seen time and time again over 52 victories this season. This time we fell one run short. Call it the percentages finally catching up to us.
But here is what I'll be day-dreaming about: those great Black and Gold fans. The game doesn't even start until 9:45 and we still darn near had The Hawk full to the brim. There were nearly 3,500 of us ignoring common sense to be here - fantastic.
I got cold chills when those right field bleachers roared "Black" and the stadium bowl responded with "Gold". Back and forth, back and forth. It was 12:50 in the morning! What would our moms say?
I don't remember anything like that spunk coming from our ranks and I actually thought the crowd might win the game for us. Call me a romantic, call me crazy but that spontaneous spirit helped our team gain momentum when it needed help. That's what real fans are supposed to do.
Nobody promised us a rose garden, an easy stroll to Omaha. It obviously is not. For tonight, however, I'm not going home to sob in my pillow.
Heck no. Here's what's in my head as I head for the rack:
This team has renewed our pride. We feel 10 years younger. We're playing a baseball game Sunday afternoon, let's get ready to rumble. Our team can take care of itself.