State Champs

The Alexandria baseball team hoists the state championship trophy Tuesday night after a seventh-inning rally to beat Southridge.

Branch Rickey, famed general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, said, "Luck is the residue of design."

It's also the residue of hard work, determination and attention to detail.

Just ask the Alexandria-Monroe High School baseball team.

The Tigers were down to their last out in the seventh and final inning of Tuesday night's Class 2A state final at Victory Field in Indianapolis.

Trailing Southridge, 3-2, all hope looked lost. But the Tigers didn't give up.

Even when Kole Stewart appeared to strike out, he ran hard for first base. The Southridge catcher had dropped the ball, and to complete the strikeout he had to throw the ball to first base before Stewart reached the bag.

The throw sailed over the first baseman's head and Stewart sped around first and reached second base safely.

Alex had a second life, but the Tigers still trailed by a run with two outs.

Brennan Morehead, who had pitched brilliantly, stepped to the plate and swatted a line drive for a base hit to center field. Stewart sprinted around third base and came home with the tying run.

Morehead alertly took second base on the errant throw to the plate, putting himself in scoring position with the potential winning run.

Slugging first baseman Nick Williams then hit a fly ball to short left field.

It looked like Southridge would easily make the catch for the final out of the seventh, sending the game to extra innings. But two Southridge players miscommunicated, and the ball fell to the grass.

Morehead crossed home plate with the winning run, setting off a wild celebration of Tigers on the field and in the stands.

Some will say that the Tigers just got lucky and capitalized on three mistakes by Southridge.

But the truth is that Alex had earned the right to compete for a state title by playing good, sound baseball and coming up with clutch plays on offense and defense.

The Tigers did it again Tuesday night at Victory Field.

If Stewart hadn't run hard for first base, the catcher probably wouldn't have rushed his throw.

If Morehead hadn't taken the extra base on the throw to the plate, he wouldn't have been in position to score on Williams' short fly ball.

And if Williams had struck out, rather than putting the ball in play, Alex would have lost.

Design? Hard work? Determination? Attention to detail?

The state champion Alexandria Tigers showed those stripes and so much more.

More online

Read about Alexandria's state baseball championship and find photos and videos at heraldbulletin.com.