Science Hill baseball celebration

The Science Hill baseball team lifts the state championship trophy high overhead as the ’Toppers claimed their first title since 1998 and fifth overall.

Pure and spontaneous joy is some sort of feeling.

On Friday, the Science Hill baseball team experienced a feeling that few athletes ever get to do in high school — winning a state championship.

The Hilltoppers claimed their fifth state title — their first since 1998 — on Friday with a 9-5 Class AAA win over Hardin County.

Evan King was royally good in the middle of the game, going through Tigers’ hitters like foreign water through a tourist.

He retired nine straight at one point from the end of the first to the middle of the fourth.

The Tigers, however, did make Science Hill sweat late in the game.

Dustin Eatmon and Caleb McBride were able to clean up the mess on defense, and the offense — highlighted by Landon Smelser’s three-RBI game — did enough to keep the Tigers at bay.

The ensuing dogpile after the final out was something that high school kids dream about.

Every baseball player knows that there are only two times when you dogpile — when you go to state and when you win state.

All of the years of hard work finally paid off for the ‘Topper baseball outfit and the rush of emotion afterward must have been a joyous relief.

The packed house at Oakland’s Mack Hawks Field made the experience even better, but the late Graham Spurrier had the best seat in the house.

Spurrier passed away in December and was a standout player on the diamond himself for Science Hill and at East Tennessee State.

I never got the privilege to meet Graham, but if he was anything like his brother Steve, he had a love for Science Hill baseball.

It’s safe to say that Graham was watching every pitch with great intent and probably leapt with great exuberance when the last out was recorded.

The baseball team wasn’t the only group of ‘Toppers claiming gold on Friday.

The doubles team of Allie Knox and Leah McBride won the Large Schools doubles title over Brentwood’s Vivy and Belle Huddleston in three sets.

It came two days after they led the Science Hill girls to the team championship.

And yes, Caleb and Leah are siblings.

The McBride family might want to lock all of that gold their kids are bringing home from Murfreesboro in a safe somewhere.

Friday was a banner day in Science Hill athletics and it will surely be talked about for years to come.

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