A huge win

Published 1:47 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018

The record books will show that on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, the Hurricanes of Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin, Virginia, played their first ever intercollegiate baseball game. They will show that they played against the Apprentice School from Newport News at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton in front of 83 fans that braved temperatures more suited for football than baseball. And they will also show that the Hurricanes gave up a late 5-3 lead, allowing 4 runs to the Builders in the bottom of the fifth inning. The lone additional run the Hurricanes scored in the sixth wouldn’t be enough. The record books will forever show that the first game in Hurricane’s history was a loss.

Despite what the record books say, and no matter the final score, there is no questioning the fact that this game was a tremendous win.

We all know the old saying, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game. And there is certainly an element of truth to that. But as someone who can’t recall a single point in his 46 years of life where baseball wasn’t an important part of it, I’ve been on the losing side of enough properly played games to know that wining and losing does matter. But in this one, rare instance, the final score didn’t really matter. For in this case it wasn’t so much whether the Hurricanes won or lost, it’s that they played the game that counted.

Dr. Dan Lufkin, president of PDCCC, first arrived on campus a little more than 18 months ago. Athletic director and head baseball coach David Mitchell arrived just this past June. Together, the two have breathed life into a program they created from scratch. Long after the recruiting period for 2017 graduating high school baseball players had ended, Mitchell last summer was able to bring together a group of young men who bought into the vision for a new college baseball team in Franklin. Despite a significant number of hurdles and a tremendous amount of red tape, Lufkin and Mitchell have overseen the process of converting what amounted to little more than a community softball field into a college baseball facility. If the weather would finally cooperate, that project will be complete in just a few short weeks. The local College Board deserves a ton of credit as well for buying into Lufkin’s vision of an athletic program at PDCCC and approving the funds to upgrade facilities.

The college staff, with the support business leaders and community members from all across Western Tidewater, has pulled together to create something that will be a source of pride in our entire community for years to come. The final result of Wednesday’s game will go down in the record books as a loss. And there will be plenty more where that one came from. But the moment the Hurricanes took the field at War Memorial Stadium, we all won.

No matter what the record books say.

TONY CLARK is publisher of The Tidewater News, a lifelong baseball nut and huge fan of the Hurricanes. He can be reached at tony.clark@tidewaternews.com.