Raider baseball seniors honored despite pandemic

By Maurice Patton

For Paul Lamm and his 2020 Spring Hill baseball team, the prospect of a rained out Senior Night felt completely on brand.

After a spring season that was limited to just five games before its interruption and eventual cancellation because of the global coronavirus pandemic, the Raiders managed to get in four innings of a split-squad game – and more importantly, recognize their four graduates –Tuesday night before lightning preceded a downpour and cut festivities short.

Spring Hill 2020 graduates Brett Bell (left), Angel Montoya, Dylan Wilder and Elijah Williams were honored prior to a split-squad game Tuesday night. The Raiders had won four of five games before their season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. (Photo by Ric Beu)

“They were joking about it. It’s par for the 2020 course,” Lamm said after the White team, captained by Brett Bell and Angel Montoya, defeated Dylan Wilder and Elijah Williams’ Black team 3-0.

“We had a 20-percent chance (of rain) in the morning and 40 percent as the day went. I’m just glad we were able to get the senior stuff done – make it about them – and get some baseball in, to see that team compete again. It would have been great to play a complete game, but I’m glad we stopped when we did.”

Bell had an RBI single in the third inning, sparking a three-run rally, after Wilder started and struck out a pair in two innings.

“We kinda got shafted at the end of the year, with the virus and all that,” said Bell, who will continue his playing career at Jackson State Community College along with Wilder. “We never really knew if it was going to be our last game or not.

“Seeing all those people come out, knowing it was going to be our last game on the field, it was a great experience for us. It meant a lot.”

Montoya, who transferred from Culleoka to play his final two seasons at Spring Hill, has signed with Dyersburg State.

“I had a chance to play with these guys. They’re really good guys,” he said. “I love them. It’s been pretty good.”

Williams, meanwhile, will attend Columbia State and study emergency medical services.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Williams, who played both football and baseball at Spring Hill. “Hopefully I’ll take that somewhere further.”

For the circumstances, Lamm and the players were pleased with the turnout for Tuesday’s event.

“It couldn’t have been better,” he said. “The guys were excited. It was great to see those stands full. The umpires even said it was an incredible atmosphere. It was cool to have them come out.

“But I honestly hope that’s the last Senior Night we have to have in July.”

Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by e-mail at or on Twitter at @mopatton_sports.

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