SHADY SPRING, WV (WOAY) – Everybody loves a good underdog. From Rocky Balboa and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team to the St. Peter’s Peacocks and now, the 2022 Shady Spring Baseball team. It has been an improbable journey that has landed the Tigers in Charleston for the first time since 2019.
Junior Tyler Mackey said, “Nobody expected us to beat Indy, nobody expected us to beat Bluefield, but look where we’re at. We’re on Bowen Field with a regional plaque in our hands.”
Coming into the postseason, you might have overlooked the Shady Spring Tigers. But now, the Raleigh County team is making a whole lot of noise.
These past few weeks, Shady has secured wins over both Independence and Bluefield—two very talented teams who were projected to have deep postseason runs. Instead, the team that’s made it all the way to states is the one most people didn’t see coming.
“Our coach is always saying we’re expected to lose. Nobody expected us to beat the #1 team in the state. We just come out here, play and have fun. We just have to play like we do, and we did,” senior Alex Johnston explained after the sectional win against Independence
Perhaps, that’s part of what’s made them so successful. If you look at the box scores from their four playoff wins, there’s not just one player you can point to that’s made the difference; it’s an entire roster full. And the wins they have gotten have been done all different ways.
Shady Spring Head Coach Jordan Meadows said, ” It might not be expected to other teams. Obviously, Indy’s #1 in the state, but I’ve known all along. All year, I’ve had Cam and Alex, so I’m putting those guys against the best and they’re beating the best.”
“Now, we’re going to states and we’ll see who we match up against, but I love my odds.”
From solid defense to clutch hitting, late inning rallies and strong team chemistry, it seems like the Tigers may be unstoppable right now. And they couldn’t have picked a better time to do it.
“We’re going to play them with everything we’ve got. If we’re all up together, we’re going to win every game. I don’t care who we play.”
They will open the tournament with a matchup against the defending Class AA state champions Logan. It’s an intimidating task going against a top-seeded powerhouse. But as a team that’s already sent two name-brand programs packing, surely, the Tigers won’t flinch.