LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – After a rewarding yet difficult season the LaGrange College baseball team was welcomed home by loved ones on Tuesday night. The team returned home from Cedar Rapids, Iowa after losing to Eastern Connecticut State in the Division 3 College World Series.
The Head Coach of the baseball team, David Kelton, expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance and said his goal for next year is to reach the college world series again.
“This is something that for years has been building. A lot of great teams have come through the program. At the beginning of the year, we talk about it every year, trying to get to Cedar Rapids, it’s a standard that we’re wanting to set within the program,” said Coach Kelton.
Coach Kelton remembered freshmen pitchers, Jacob Brown and Stephen Bartolotta, who were killed in a fatal car accident in May. He called them key instruments to the team and said they were greatly missed.
McKinley Erves is centerfielder on the team and a senior at LaGrange College, he describes the team’s success this season as ‘surreal’ and said it is a memorable way to end his time with the team.
“It’s a little surreal just looking around and seeing how far we came. It’s real emotional, I thought I cried as much as I possibly could up there but now it’s starting to all hit again. It’s just an unbelievable ride that we’ve all been on and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other group of guys,” said Erves.
Erves also remembered Brown and Bartolotta and said he pictured completing the season with them and the team played in their honor after their passing.
“We pictured them coming to Cedar Rapids with us and the loss really hurt. We tried to do everything we could to keep playing in their memory,” said Erves.
Erves and several other players on the team were seen taking it all in on the baseball field after their arrival to Phil Williamson Stadium and for some, like Erves, it was the last time.