On Friday, April 20, Cedar Shoals’ varsity baseball team played their final game of the season against Flowery Branch High School Falcons, and for seven seniors, it was their last game ever as a Jaguar.
The team trailed 9-0 before entering the final inning, ultimately losing 20-0, but when the game was over, no one was thinking about the score. For the Jaguar baseball players, all that was on their minds was that they would likely never all play together again.
Senior Stephen Moon pitched the first 5 innings, with 3 strikeouts, only giving up 6 hits before he was taken out after the 5th inning, an impressive performance against a solid Flowery Branch team who made it to the state playoffs.
Moon’s most cherished memory with the program came a few years ago.
“[I Was] playing at Cedar was when my teammate and brother, Jorge Pascal, was throwing a baseball, and I threw it and he swung at it with [former] Coach Bosquet’s fungo bat and broke it [the bat] and Jorge saw him [Coach Bosquet] look at him with an ‘Oh, you done messed up now look’ and Jorge took off running!”
Senior Jorge Pascual, a third baseman, shortstop, and pitcher agrees that his favorite part with the Cedar baseball organization was not the baseball itself, but the memories he made with his teammates.
“After the games, we’re always having fun no matter what,” said Pascual.
Senior and first baseman Chris Fuller, who has been on the team since he was a freshman, said that his favorite part of Cedar baseball was, “Just being out with these guys. I love these guys to death, they’re my brothers.”
Head Coach Vince Merolla values the connections he’s been able to make with this team.
“We grew as a team. We grew as a family, a baseball family. We played together, and we went through some tough times, we went through some good times, but we grew as a family,” said Merolla. “It’s been a lot of fun watching them grow.”
In their freshman season, the current seniors went 0-25 (0-17) under Head Coach Mike Bosquet. This year, the Jaguars were substantially better under Head Coach Vince Merolla. They finished the season 2-22 (2-10 region), beating rival Clarke Central 8-3 for the first time in seven years.