For the third time in four years, the Mineral Wells Rams (17-10, 8-2) were district champions, earning a 5-4 victory over Castleberry in thrilling fashion. The entire dugout poured onto the field and formed a celebratory scrum around Allen, jumping up and down with their index fingers held high.
"You couldn't ask for anything more," Barrick said after being doused with a cooler full of ice water. "These kids don't have any quit. There were all kinds of times in that game when we could have just said, 'You know what, it's just not our night.' But we just kept fighting and plugging.
"They wanted the outright district championship and they just got it. It's kind of becoming a habit around Mineral Wells and I like that. Our kids expect it. If it was easy, it wouldn't mean anything and it hasn't been easy. We've had to fight for it. It sure is sweet."
As the Rams have had to do so often this season, they had to battle for everything they got in their win against Castleberry.
Chris Rapp, Cameron Bullock and Justyn Lee combined for a solid, yet hard-earned, pitching outing in which Lee got credit for the win, tossing the final 1 2/3 innings of the game.
The trio, who admittedly did not have their best stuff working, combined for seven strikeouts, eight walks, two earned runs and four hits and – most importantly – kept their team in the game from start to finish.
For Lee, earning the win in one of his few mound appearances on senior night with the district championship on the line was particularly special.
"I'm just extremely happy," he said. "I'm glad the coaches trusted me to put me out there and I did the work. I knew I could go up there and throw strikes. That's all I had to do. My fastball was definitely going in there."