ENGLEWOOD — Not yet a sophomore at Centaurus, Myles Meskers hasn't been around the game of baseball long enough to have seen or experienced the things a veteran player would have.
But when a suspected impaired driver plowed a car through the center field wall and onto the warning track at the Machebeuf baseball field during the American Legion B state tournament on Thursday evening, Meskers was manning the middle outfield spot and got a first-hand look at the chaos from less than 100 feet away.
Now, Meskers could give the sport up today and still be able to say he's seen at least one thing during a baseball game that pretty much no one else out there has.
"I turned around and just saw it crash through the fence," Meskers said. "I heard a loud crack right before that from what I think was maybe when he went over the curb, so I was already kind of looking. It was still crazy."
The accident happened during the top of the sixth inning while the Centaurus Warriors were playing the club from Elizabeth. The Warriors ended up having to finish what turned out to be a loss at Englewood High School early on Friday morning before taking on Holy Family in the consolation bracket later that day at 2 p.m.
After an extremely unusual 20 hours or so, the freshman- and sophomore-laden Centaurus club bounced back with a 5-1 victory over Holy Family.
"I credit the kids for coming out and staying focused," Centaurus head coach Doug Kinney said. "We've talked to them about defining themselves as a team with how they respond to adversity and they responded quite well today."
Against the Holy Family Tigers, who were eliminated from the 10-team, double-elimination tournament with the loss, the Warriors pulled ahead early when Meskers scored from third on a throwing error in the top of the first inning. The Warriors then broke the game open in the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits, a walk and two Holy Family errors.
Warriors starting pitcher Nicholas Vantassel led the way, allowing one unearned run over 5 innings and recording a pair of hits at the plate.
"I was pretty much 100 percent until the sixth inning when I started laboring," Vantassel said. "We had to wake up at 5:30 this morning to get out here and finish our game from last night. But overall, it's been a great tournament so far and I've had fun."
Now two wins from playing their way back into the state championship game, the Warriors will play Eaglecrest on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Centaurus 5, Holy Family 1
At Englewood H.S.
Centaurus 100 400 0 — 5 8 2
Holy Family 000 001 0 — 1 3 4
W — Vantassel. L — Delgado.
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Meskers 3-1-1-1, Battistelli 3-0-1-0, Vantassel 4-0-2-0, Blare 4-1-0-0 Whitton 4-0-2-0, Herdstreit 0-1-0-0, Weir 2-1-0-0, Cowan 1-0-0-0, Dodge 2-1-1-1, Larson 2-0-0-0, Vanzec 2-0-1-1. Totals 27-5-8-3. SB — Meskers.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Martinek 4-0-0-0, C. Welsh 2-1-0-0, Delgado 2-0-1-0, A. Welsh 0-0-0-0, Neill 1-0-0-0, Callaway 2-0-1-0, Florez 1-0-0-0, King 3-0-1-0, McGowan 3-0-0-0, Ziegler 1-0-0-0, McFarland 2-0-0-0, Steele 1-0-0-0, Sarno 2-0-0-0, Spadafora 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-1-3-0. SB — King, A. Welsh.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Vantassel 5.2-2-1-0-3-4, Blare 1.1-1-0-0-1-1.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Delgado 5-7-5-2-2-4, Neill 2-1-0-0-2-2.