It’s going, going, gone
On one hot spring night, two boys fulfilled their childhood dreams — one behind the plate and one behind the microphone…
Katelyn Cain | Staff Writer
Photos by Janica Kaneshiro
Photo art by Jami Bechard
When junior Josh Galloway stepped up to the plate last Thursday night in the bottom of the ninth inning in a scoreless game against Princeton in the sectional tournament opener, he was able to fulfill every little boy’s dream: the dream of hitting a homer to lead his team to a thrilling victory. And that’s exactly what the catcher did when he took a hanging curve ball and deposited it over the left field fence to send the Comets to a thrilling 1-0 victory.
It was a dream come true for sophomore Alex Day as well; Day sat in the broadcasting booth and called the homer in his first game as the play-by-play man in the first broadcast for English teacher Chris DeLotell’s sports broadcast club.
“[Hitting a walk-off home run] was pretty amazing,” Galloway said. “I actually felt quite a bit of pressure when I stepped up to the plate, being that we were already in extra innings and I knew that I could end it with one swing of the bat. And that’s what I did. The feeling of crossing home plate and being swamped by your teammates is the greatest feeling in the world.”
According to Day, he was also able to live his life-long dream of announcing a climactic game, he said.
“I’ve dreamt of being an announcer since I was young,” Day said. “I’ve always wanted to call a game that would end in dramatic fashion. It just so happens that the first game I got to call would be that one.”
According to Galloway, he felt that he was going to win the game for Mason when he stepped up to bat, despite being in a stressful situation.
“There was definitely a lot of pressure [when I walked up to hit],” Galloway said. “I hit in the [third spot] in the lineup, so it’s my job to come up with big hits in big situations, …but I did [feel like I could win the game]. I felt very confident and there was a feeling in my stomach that told me that I was going to get the job done.”
According to assistant coach Curt Bly, Galloway’s walk-off home run was a rare and memorable moment, especially because the game was so close.
“[Hitting a walk-off home run] is tremendously special, and [Galloway’s] walk-off was even more special, considering it was a 0-0 game in extra innings of a tournament game,” Bly said. “You lose that game and the season is over.”
According to Day, he had predicted that Galloway could end the game “with one swing of the bat.”
“I knew that the bottom of the ninth was going to be an inning that could’ve changed the game,” Day said. “Princeton’s pitcher was going deep in his pitch count and Galloway had already had four home runs on the season. I knew he had the power and I said, ‘With one swing of the bat, he could end this game,’ and sure enough, he hit a shot.”
Galloway said that one of his favorite parts of his walk-off was when his team stormed home plate as he rounded the bases.
“[My teammates] went crazy,” Galloway said. “They came running out of the dugout screaming and jumped all over me when I crossed the plate. It was a great feeling to have all of my teammates be so excited about something that I did; it was almost as if the entire team hit the walk-off homer.”
Bly said that Galloway’s excitement was gratifying for him as a coach, and he hopes that Galloway continues to perform well in pressuring situations.
“As a coach, it really is great when you get a chance to see a kid succeed in a pressure situation and get excited about it,” Bly said. “[Galloway] was so excited and that was the most fun part for me. [He] is someone we really count on to produce, and when he does, we usually win.”
For both Day and Galloway, the walk-off home run was meaningful, and for Day, it validated his dream of becoming a radio announcer.
“I’ve always wanted to be a broadcaster, and this call brought so much excitement that it made it more clear to me that this is what I want to do with my life in the future,” Day said. “For now, I enjoy being on the baseball field and basketball court playing, but as the years go on, broadcasting is what I see myself doing in the future.”
Galloway said that his experience was something that he will take with him later in life.
“I’ve hit home runs and grand slams before, but this was my first walk off, so it’s very special to me,” Galloway said. “It will be something that I will never forget, because when I would see someone in the [Major Leagues] hit one, I would always think about how it would feel to hit one. And now I have.”