LOCK HAVEN - On a rainy, cloudy, dreary day, there was a lot more to play for at Foundation Field than a win or loss in a pair of baseball games.
It was a day for the Lock Haven University baseball team to honor the veterans of numerous wars who fought for the freedom we enjoy today that allows us to enjoy the game of college baseball.
"The ceremony always brings goose bumps to my arms," LHU manager Smokey Stover said. "Marchal Rote does such a wonderful job of organizing the event. The professional manner she puts her words together in her presentation is just outstanding. It gives you goose bumps and you can see the tears of appreciation in the eyes of the some of the veterans. We had some World War II guys here today and my Uncle Bob, who is 80 years old now, was wounded quite a few times in the Korean War. It just means a lot to me to be able to do this."
On the baseball side of the activities, the Bald Eagles won the first game by the score of 5-4 in eight innings before Bloom took the second contest by the final of 11-1.
In the opener, Bloom opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the first, but the Bald Eagles answered back with a run in the first and three more in the third to take a 4-2 lead.
Big blows for LHU in the early going were a RBI single by Kevin Cressman in the first followed by a RBI double by Ryan Henritzy and a two-run home run by Scott Zuback in the third.
The Huskies tied the game with single runs in the fourth and seventh innings, but the Bald Eagles produced the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth when Austin Botts led off with a single to left, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Diaz and scored on Dakota Roof's RBI double to right-center.
"We knew that the bad weather was coming and we played as hard as we could in the first game," Stover said. "We ended up winning the first game and I didn't want to get anybody hurt because this is an important week for us coming up. That is why in the second game I gave everybody the opportunity to play and we had a good time even in the loss. This team seems to have a good time whether they win or lose and that is probably why we play so loose at times."
As for what lies ahead for the Bald Eagles, it is a scheduled non-conference doubleheader with East Stroudsburg followed by a huge weekend that includes four game with IUP. The games with the Crimson Hawks along with a few results involving several other teams could determine the playoff fate of LHU.
"We are supposed to have a doubleheader with East Stroudsburg here Tuesday," Stover said. "With the weather forecast, it doesn't look good for those games and they already informed me that we aren't going to make up those games."
As for the series with IUP, it doesn't get any bigger than that for the Bald Eagles.
"We have a big weekend coming up and I just finished telling the team there is nothing we can do about what the other teams do," Stover said. "All we can do is take care of business as we can, stay in the present, play each game one at a time, play hard and have fun like we have been doing. If we do those things, we'll be all right."