Ending on the right note

Published 12:02 am Friday, April 29, 2011

Since they were yay high, Gavin Free, Zack Sasser, Spencer Youmans, Alex Banks and Josh Thompson have played baseball together.

And behind them, the five from Opp have left a trail of success.

They were a part of the 16-and-under 2008 Pre-Majors baseball team that won the state championship, and in Free’s, Sasser’s, Banks’ and Thompson’s senior year at Opp High School, the Bobcats advanced to the second round of the baseball playoffs.

“It was fun to go through the championship,” Sasser said about the pre-majors accomplishment.

Now, the five are about to finish the 2011 season under the helm of head coach Steve Helms at LBWCC.

The Saints have two games left at home against Alabama Southern today, and Bishop State on Sunday.

Free, Sasser, Banks and Thompson have one more year left on the Saints baseball team, but Youmans is finishing up his sophomore year.

Youmans will play baseball at Auburn University-Montgomery next year.

When asked how they would describe the different styles of play between high school and college baseball, each said the “mental” aspect of the game is the big difference.

“It’s a different level,” Sasser said. “It’s hard — a lot harder.”

The Saints are currently out of the playoff hunt, but the Opp boys said that they want to end the season with wins.

“I hope we’ll win them and go out on good terms,” Banks said.

Youmans said it was great to play for LBWCC these past two years.

“It was a great experience and I learned a lot,” Youmans said. “I made a lot of friends out of it, and I grew a lot as a person and as a player.”

Free is the son of Tim and Connie Free; Youmans is the son of Butch and Donna Youmans; Sasser is the son of Clint and Alesia Sasser; Thompson is the son of Curt and Tracy Thompson; and Banks is the son of Scott and Linda Banks.