Cardinals fall in final game at Weiner High School
The skies were overcast with a chance of rain this past Tuesday but the sun broke through right before the national anthem and all seemed right. No one would have thought this was the last ball game that will ever be played at Weiner High School. The stands were packed, the sidelines along the fences were filled with chairs as it seemed the whole city came out for this special night. What made the night even more special was Sadey Bowen being there to throw out the first pitch. Sadey is from Weiner and will benefit from the new Miracle Park being built in Jonesboro. The proceeds from the gate were donated to this wonderful cause.
Weiner also honored six seniors who were playing their last home game. Those honored were Logan Bray, Tyler Armstrong, Drake Melton, Burl Tate, Morgan Stewart and Wesley Creasey.
Cedar Ridge was the opponent in the the non-conference matchup as both teams are gearing up for district tournaments that will begin on Thursday.
The Timberwolves went down in order in the top of first as starter Grant Johnson struck out two of the three batters. Weiner threatened in the bottom of first but couldn't push a run across as a double play got Cedar Ridge out of the inning.
Cedar Ridge looked to score in the top of the second as an error and a hit but runners on second and third with no outs. Johnson struck out the next two batters and got a ground out to get out of the jam. Stewart was hit by a pitch to start the bottom half for Weiner. Hunter Tubbs came on to pinch run for Stewart. Armstrong singled and Melton reached first on a passed ball by the catcher on a third strike to load the bases with no outs. Cedar Ridge's pitcher struck out the next three batters to leave three runner stranded and keep it a 0-0 game.
Corey Seehaver came in to relieve Johnson in the top of the third as Cedar Ridge got a two out single and the batter took second as the ball was bobbled in the outfield. The runner took third on a wild pitch and came in to score on a base hit for a 1-0 Cedar Ridge lead. Weiner got runners on first and second but left them stranded to keep the score the same.
Neither team could muster much offense in the fourth as they went to the final inning with the score still 1-0 Cedar Ridge.
Bray came on to pitch the final inning for Weiner. A leadoff walk was erased with a double play as the runner strayed off to far and was doubled up on a fly out. Another fly out ended the top half of the fifth. Creasy led off the bottom of the fifth with a sinking liner to center that got past the fielder and went all the way to the fence. Creasey was waved around third but the relay throw was there as he was tagged out at the plate. Bray doubled to get in scoring position with one out. Bray took off for third and was gunned down by the Timberwolves catcher for the second out. Johnson drew a walk and advanced to second on a single by JT Schwarz. Stewart grounded out as Cedar Ridge hung on for the 1-0 win.
Senior Logan Bray talked about what tonight and his career at Weiner meant to him. "Just how great the family was here. We are all like brothers," Bray said. "The school will be missed by everyone and having gone here my whole life, it was a great time," Bray added.
Coach James Halitzka is in his third year at Wiener but first to coach the boys. Halitzka had coached only the girls programs the last two years. Asked about what tonight's game meant Halitzka had this to say, "It's means a lot to the kids and to the community. The community has supported us so much, they love their sports here."
Armstrong, Creasey, Bray and Schwarz all had a hit for Weiner on the day.
Johnson worked two innings giving up one hit while striking out four. Seehaver was tagged with the loss as he pitched two innings giving up a run on three hits with a strikeout. Bray pitched the final inning allowing no hits and walking one batter.
As the tears were shed and hugs were given, this sports reporter felt for the kids and the community. It was an honor to have been a part of this night. It's also been my privilege to have covered the sports at Weiner the past two years. I wish all the seniors the best in their future endeavors and look forward to seeing, although it will be odd, all the players next year. Thank you Weiner High School.