The "Lionhearted" Cade Lee delivers for Blue Devils
After the way Thursday’s game ended, it was only fitting that Cade Lee was on the mound for Pearl River Central when they captured their first South State Championship. Talk about a cool, calm customer, Lee is just that and more. Coach Lee Walther called him ‘lionhearted’ after Lee’s win at West Jones in Game 1 and that’s pretty darn accurate.
Thursday night’s heartbreaking loss ended with a horrendous bottom of the seventh, and even though each play in a game is equally important, the last play was a tough one for a guy like Lee.
With PRC leading 8-7, Lee fielded a slow grounder at second base and made a quick throw to first due to the base runner's speed. The throw sailed past Eli Lee at first and Hattiesburg scored two runs to win the game - Tough situation.
On Friday, as I was driving to Jackson, I talked to Coach Walther around 3:00pm and he said the field was ready and the players were loose and ready to go as well.
When I asked about Cade and Coach said “they all know if we can get it back to Game 3, we’ll win it because Cade is the guy everybody wants on the mound in those situations.”
Cade was so steady throughout Game 3, working his way out of some tough situations with some great pitches. Even when his defense faltered a little, allowing two unearned runs in the top of the fourth, Cade never showed any emotion on the mound. He just kept grinding.
In the bottom of the seventh when things got a little dicey (and a little too close to déjà vu for me), Cade Lee never flinched. And when it appeared…no wait….when the home plate umpire squeezed the plate, Cade Lee was not phased one iota. He just kept coming at the batter and eventually got the third strike call to end the game and send PRC to uncharted ground. Lionhearted. Yep. My word of the day friend, Coach Walther, was correct.
After the game, Lee was still ever in control of his emotions... a cool customer. There’s an air of calmness, a confident yet humble, demeanor that makes you understand why Walther and Lee’s teammates want him to have the ball in his hand when it's crunch time. Tip of the hat to a guy who calmly did what was expected.