Bears end dream season as 2A state runners-up

With tears in their eyes, Marty Curtis addressed the Bunker Hill baseball team following its 4-2 loss to Midway in the third game of 2A state championship series on Saturday at UNC-Greensboro.

“You’re one of a kind,” Curtis said of his team, which made the school’s first-ever trip to the state championship. “What you did this season other teams at our school will remember the next time they play here.”

The Bears fought valiantly in the best-of-three format against the Raiders.

After giving up 12 hits in a 10-3 loss on Friday in game one, Bunker Hill fought back to tie the series at one game apiece with a 4-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at UNC-Greensboro.

The win included a three RBIs from Bears third baseman Cooper Wray and a five-strikeout outing on the mound for left-handed pitcher Clay Ervin.

Going as far as they could — a 34th game —the Bears did just what their motto had been all season long — grind.

Despite all their efforts, Bunker Hill came up just shy of their goal of winning the state title, falling 4-2 to Midway in Saturday’s nightcap.

Less than 24 hours after throwing 75 pitches in a game one start, senior Colton Chapman threw more than 100 pitches and allowed one earned run in relief in the third and final game of the series.

Despite the loss, Chapman said the experience from this season is something he’ll never forget.

“It’s been a heck of a ride,” Chapman said. “Just the way these guys came together, it’s been amazing. I wouldn’t want to play on another baseball team. You couldn’t put me on a 4A team. I wouldn’t want it. I want my brothers that I’ve been here with from day one.”

Curtis was in awe of Chapman’s play, which included a team-high two hits in the final contest.

“Colton Chapman probably had the most courageous effort I’ve ever seen out of a baseball player in 42 years,” Curtis said. “To come back and throw 100 pitches after throwing 75 Friday night and getting a couple of hits on a bad foot is incredible.”

Senior Cole Brady Ervin, who had a double in the final game of the series, said this season has been unbelievable.

“It’s insane,” he said. “We just stayed together, grinded it out and got here. We tried to make it happen, but didn’t.”

Bunker Hill graduates eight seniors from its baseball team, including Austin Griffith, Jordan Speaks, Kyle Lineberger and Jacob Turner.

Curtis is proud of his veteran group, which also includes starters Jake Loftin, Jordan Eckard, Cole Ervin and Chapman.

“It’s a tremendous group of seniors we’ve got,” Curtis said. “They are very tight, tremendously hard workers, and I love them to death.”

The benchmark for baseball at Bunker Hill has been set, and Curtis said this year’s team is one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

“They are a very special group,” Curtis said. “They’ve taken Bunker Hill baseball to a place it’s never been. To come down here and compete like they did after losing Friday night. To come back and win a hardfought game and go to the end with a chance to win this game is unbelievable.”