By CLINT FOSTER
The 2014 Mineral Wells Rams' baseball season was one of both tremendous triumph and stunning heartbreak, but through it all one constant remained: these Rams never stopped fighting.
With head coach Bret Barrick at the helm, the Rams rode a 17-10 record to their third district championship in four years and their first in District 6-3A. At times, the Rams were simply brilliant, showing an uncanny ability to rally in crucial games that helped them earn many marquee wins.
Sophomore McCain Mason's walkoff sacrifice fly at home against Castleberry clinched the Rams' undisputed district championship in dramatic fashion and the Rams counted on the pitching arm of sophomore Braxton Allen to not only lead them to their first victory over district-favorite Kennedale, but a season sweep over the mighty Wildcats.
Yet, for all the highs, there were plenty of lows. As had become their M.O. all season, the Rams were forced to rally back from two inexplicable district losses on the road to Castleberry and Springtown before they could claim the district crown.
The season also came to an incredibly sour end when the district champion Rams lost a coin flip to their first round playoff opponent, Vernon, and were upset 5-3 by the Lions in a single bi-district game despite a valiant comeback and gutsy relief pitching performance from senior Chris Rapp.
But even immediately after the game, Barrick spoke truthfully when he said the bitter end to their 2014 campaign could not take away from all the Rams accomplished that season.
"It doesn't take away from what we've done this year," he said on Bowie High School's field after the Vernon loss. "This team has come a million miles. Nobody gave us a chance to beat Kennedale and we swept them. I'm just proud of these kids. I love every one of them."