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“Senior Sendoff” 2024
CSD Productions, CSD Productions • May 30, 2024

Games, moments, memories, a walk-off and the hope of a new field

As CSD baseball plays for the first time on their new home field, the memory of a special moment in Spartan baseball history sets the foundation for what is yet to come.
Ben Gallagher
A CSD Spartan banner hangs on fence at new Spartan Park baseball field. The field hosted one special game during the 2024 season and is now waiting for next spring to host the Spartans for all of 2025 and beyond.

High school sports give people memories they will never forget. The memories of seasons, games and plays that are so charged with emotion become ingrained in the mind and live on with both players and fans into old age. CSD’s ‘21 – ‘22 baseball season was one such season.

The Spartans that year finished the regular season 17-8 and made a run in the state playoffs. They advanced to the regional finals after beating Chase, North Stanley, Lincoln Charter and Trinity High School. The North Stanley and Trinity games are the epitome of unforgettable memories.

Energy began building early in the postseason. After winning their first home game of the tournament against Chase High School, the CSD boys traveled to North Stanley to face the Comets and their ace, UNC Chapel Hill commit, Cole Smith. On the mound for CSD was Brown University commit, Christian Keel (‘22).

From the start, the game was a dogfight dominated by pitching.

The Comets scored first putting up a single run in the first half of the game and CSD didn’t bounce back until much later.

With runners on first and second, Austin Moran (‘25) laid down a bunt along the third base line. The Comet’s catcher threw a laser to third base but, in his excitement to get the lead runner out, he threw the ball away. It rolled down the line and came to rest at the fence. Two runners scored and CSD took the lead.

At the end of the sixth inning, after the Comets batted, an energized and excited Keel came back to the dugout and approached head coach, TJ Albert.

“Respectfully, I’m not coming out of this game,” Christian Keel said.

That fire in Keel continued through to the last out of the game when he ended it with a strikeout. The whole dugout erupted and stormed the field.

“It was a crazy game, I was screaming so loud my throat hurt so bad,” said Conner Shelton (‘25).

Next up was Lincoln Charter. A sweet 15-8 win, the first time the Spartans beat the Eagles that season, kept the season alive.

Then it was Trinity High School in a home game at Hough High School’s field (because CSD did not have a home field of its own).

From the start, things looked bleak for the Spartans. They were down the entire game and as Lincoln Charter retired batter after batter the many hopeful CSD fans began to lose hope.

But momentum changes in moments and amazing memories happen unexpectedly.

In the bottom of the seventh, with the 5-3 in Trinity’s favor, two still hopeful Spartans batted for the last time. Senior Trevor Carbonero (‘22) struck out for the first out. Then Sam Kelley (‘22) hit a long fly out to deep right field. Both now frustrated seniors, thinking it was their last at bat ever, slammed their helmets to the ground and yelled into their helmets.

A two-out walk put a Spartan on first and a double off the wall by Connor Ferguson (‘23) prompted the Trinity coach to pull the pitcher.

There was still hope.

With two outs, down by two, and with two runners on base, Matthew Ferguson (‘22) stepped to the plate. The first pitch was a fastball, middle-in, and Furguson swung and made contact.

As the ball flew off his bat and arched towards the wall, the CSD dugout erupted. The ball cleared the fence and the crowd and players went crazy. Screaming, throwing their hats and jumping over the fence, the dugout emptied as players rushed out to home plate.

Ferguson touched home and was dogpiled.

The celebration lasted nearly two minutes before both teams lined up to shake hands. Then they rushed to the outfield for more celebrations.

Games like North Stanley and moments like Ferguson’s three-run walk-off homer are what make classic memories. The type of memories that will never be forgotten by the team and players as long as they live.

Shortly after that season ended, CSD’S athletic staff unveiled updated plans for a new baseball field park to be built at CSD’s Spartan Park athletic complex.

Now, jump forward two seasons, and with construction finished, the Spartans have their permanent home field at Spartan Park.

The first game hosted there was senior night ‘24 and a few of the remaining players from that miracle ‘22 season made their final home appearance. The Spartans completed the comeback to top the Langtree Charter Lions 9-8.

“It was super neat to play our last home game as seniors on this field for our senior night,” said Evan DeSimone (‘23).

While there was not a three run, game winning walk-off homer that night, there was excitement and energy matched with hope. CSD baseball finally has a home. Seniors had their special moment.

And the new baseball field, which sits in between the tennis courts and the main football field is ready to go, ready for excitement and new memories and moments.

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About the Contributor
Ben Gallagher
Ben Gallagher, Editor-in-Chief

Ben Gallagher, a junior, has been at CSD since eighth grade. In his third year of journalism, he hopes to improve his interviewing skills, cover new topics and see stories through different angles. 

While at school, Ben loves to play volleyball in the gym and learn about our nation’s past in AP US History. He is also looking forward to starting English and Psychology now in eleventh grade. He plays football as a wide receiver and is a middle infielder and outfielder in baseball for the Spartans. One of his favorite memories was freshman year when Matthew Ferguson hit a walkoff three run homer against Trinity High School to send CSD to the state regional finals.

“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” - Lewis Caroll 


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