May 2022


Baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Generations of young athletes have grown up spending their summers sliding through the dirt and grass or enjoying a ballpark hotdog with family cheering on their favorite team. Dating back as far as the 1700s, baseball has endured through many economic endeavors and national hardships, including the Industrial Revolution and The Cold War, and it is still a favorite for players and fans around the country. Baseball has survived the test of time!

B aseball season is officially in full swing and there is no doubt Pleasant Grove High School’s head coach, Riley Fincher, and the Hawks have the state championship on their minds! These boys are coming in hot straight off their 2021 State Championship win. Last year’s win was exciting, to say the least, securing the third state baseball championship in the school’s history. The 2-1 victory in Rusk, Texas, was “arguably one of the best games of the year” according to Coe Blain, who pitched for the 2021 team. As the tournament drew near, the boys’ nerves were sky high and their adrenaline was on the rise, as this game was the biggest game any of these boys had ever been a part of. “It was a dream come true,” said Blain. All the boys had high expectations for themselves going into the tournament and, even better, they believed in themselves as a team until the very end. “Being at the bottom of the dog pile with my teammates was one of the best feelings ever,” he said, “and something I know none of us will ever forget.”

Fincher has been coaching at Pleasant Grove for nine years. Developing the fundamentals of baseball is important to him, but it is his influence in the lives of the players that he values most. “The relationships that are built is one of the greatest joys in coaching… from the players to the coaches I work with, to everyone associated with the profession. Also, being able to see our players develop and grow into young men, on and off the field, is awesome to see.” The combination of a dedicated coach and determined athletes has been key to the success of the PGHS baseball program. “Our young men continue to work hard and improve every day,” said Fincher. “They love the game of baseball and take so much pride in representing our school and community. The best part about them is they come to practice every day to work their tails off and get better.” Baseball runs in Fincher’s blood and for those who know him and have watched him play from his earliest years, to his time as part of Texas High’s baseball team, it is hard to imagine him in any other profession.


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