You just don't want the games to ever end.
Hey, maybe if we all just smile, close our eyes, and freeze in time in our minds the past five days.
Talk about a natural high.
Photo courtesy of Marietta College
The Marietta College team holds the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Baseball Tournament championship hardware high after defeating Manchester, 7-3, at Don Schaly Stadium Sunday.
Gary Caruso, author of "Marietta College Baseball: The Story of The 'Etta Express," could easily add another chapter to his book.
The Mideast Regional Baseball Tournament at Don Schaly Stadium began last Wednesday and finished Sunday with host and top-seeded Marietta College (43-7) repeating as champion with a 7-3 triumph over No. 7 seed Manchester (Ind.) College in a winner-take-all final.
MC had to battle through the losers bracket and win five consecutive games in three days to be crowned champs. In four of those contests, it trailed early on.
"Above all else, I'm just really proud of the kids and what they've done and accomplished," said Marietta skipper Brian Brewer, who notched his 400th career win as head coach with the victory.
The nationally No. 1-ranked and defending champion Pioneers will now pack their bags, board a charter bus, and head northwest to Grande Chute (near Appleton), Wis., where they will be playing for a second straight NCAA Division III title.
"We're excited," Brewer said. "We understand that we have to continue to prepare.
"We need to enjoy this (regional title) for a little while. Then we'll start to prepare for I think it's Friday whenever it is we open up. We'll go back to getting the treatments and getting our work in the weight room and doing the things we need to do to make sure that we're ready to go."
Too bad those World Series games can't be played in Washington County. At one time, you know, they were. Back in the 1980s, MC claimed national baseball titles (1981, 1983 and 1986) at Pioneer Park (now Don Schaly Stadium). It wasn't until 2006 that the Pioneers would win their fourth crown, this time on the road at Grande Chute.
Well, Wisconsin is a beautiful state, but...Marietta is where the college World Series really should be hosted every year. The only reason it was moved to the Dairyland State in the first place, as I understand it, was because Pioneer Park as it was called back then didn't have lights.
But now, thanks to a generous donation by former Pioneer and major leaguer Terry Mulholland, there are lights.
Also, Don Schaly Stadium is a college-specific baseball facility while the one in Grande Chute is a professional one.
"If we get a couple of these wonderful people in town to give us about two or three million each, we'll get it back," said Brewer, smiling.
Oh, well, be it me to tell the NCAA Division III people what to do - and I'm not even an Ohio native. But I have seen and been to both places (Don Schaly Stadium and Grande Chute), so I guess I'm entitled to my opinion.
Getting back to the last five days. After enduring a fair amount of rain in Washington County this spring, the weather was ideal for baseball, hot and sunny.
"The weather obviously I think we put Coach (Don) Schaly (the late, legendary skipper died in 2005) in charge of that," Brewer said. "He did a heckuva job."
When the Pioneers played, Don Schaly Stadium was a packed house every game. The fans were friendly, loud, and knowledgeable. When Manchester starting pitcher Justin Scott was relieved in the ninth inning, both the Spartan and Pioneer faithful gave him an standing ovation.
"It's classy, and it's what we are and this community is about," Brewer said. "The fans are as much a part of this as anybody who steps on that field - and always have been.
"The opposing players and coaches, it makes for a wonderful experience. It gives us a big lift, and it's something we'll never not appreciate or overlook. It's all the difference in the world and it's why we try to host this thing. We're just happy we can give them a little something back."
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org