Dylan Badura is a senior pitcher from Omaha, Neb. After spending two years at Indian Hill Junior College, Badura transferred to UTPA. He made 20 appearances for the Broncs in 2012, including three starts. He posted a 2-2 record with one save. Badura registered a victory in his UTPA debut, fanning two in two innings against Southern Utah. His first save came in a conference contest at NJIT. Badura is majoring in public relations/marketing.


The Broncs are 23-19 overall and 13-2 in the Great West, good for first place in the conference. UTPA has won 14 of its past 19 contests.


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May 3, 2013


Rally Time


“FISHING, EVERYBODY GO FISHING!!” yells junior pitcher Matt Harrell. It’s the bottom of the ninth inning and we are currently down one measly run to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The crowd is yelling and so is our dugout. We have bases loaded with one out and things are looking good. (photo at right courtesy of The Pan American)


Hold up. Let’s rewind and show you why baseball can be so poetic.


Today is Tuesday, April 30, 2013, and we have a doubleheader with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, one of our non-conference rivals. I hit the field around noon to start our pre-game usual.


First game starts at 3 p.m, and unfortunately, due to some bad luck, we drop the first game. Even though we probably should have taken that one, there is just one thing on everyone’s mind, “We do not want to get swept today, especially by these guys.” So it’s safe to say everyone is hungry for a win.


Next game starts around 6:15 p.m.


Today, because we are in the middle of conference weekends, we are using all of our pitchers in what you would call a “Johhny whole staff” in order to get everyone some work. We jump to an early lead of 7-0, but Corpus starts to claw their way back through the innings and pretty soon we’re down 8-7.


Eighth inning rolls around and our leadoff hitter Derek Hagy scorches one into the right center gap! As he’s flying around second everyone is screaming and Coach is waving him to third. Derek trucks on and slides in head first to third base, everyone is jumping around yelling. The fans are going crazy in the stands screaming for their home team, but wait…the umpire calls him out on a play that might have been debatable. Everyone’s hearts drop, it’s quiet. Coaches start to scream and so do the fans. The play stands and the game proceeds. UTPA continues to go down in order. Matt Harrell takes care of business in the top of the ninth and we head into the bottom of the ninth.


Score still stands 8-7. Everyone gets up on the top step, and soon the cry for “rally caps” can be heard all over the dugout. A backwards cap is the fashion we will go with this time as opposed to my favorite, the “shark fin”. Alberto Morales steps in to lead off the inning. Right out of the gate, Morales gets plunked with a pitch to give us a runner at first. One sac bunt, one pinch-runner and one error later, we have runners at first and third with one out.


“LET’S GOOOO BROOOONCS, LET’S GO!” can be heard from the stands and all around the stadium. We are alive with a burning desire to break some hearts tonight.


Four pitches and one walk later, we now have bases loaded with one out. “FISHING, EVERYBODY GO FISHING!” yells Harrell.


Allow me to explain. What he is talking about is a rally superstition. What you do is act like you have a fishing pole in your hands and cast it into the water (the pitcher’s mound to be exact). As the pitcher delivers the pitch you yank your fishing rod as if you caught something and depending on which bait you choose, will cause the result of the next pitch. According to Harrell, “There are all kinds of baits. You have wild pitch baits, home run baits, and even just base hit baits.” I can’t quite remember which bait I’m using, but I’m definitely feeling like I can catch a good-sized marlin at this point.


As everyone yanks their imaginary fishing rods on each pitch, the baseball gods don’t seem to like our bait and our hitter strikes out. Everyone sinks for a moment, but we are undeterred. We still have bases loaded and two outs, and our leadoff hitter Derek Hagy back up at the plate.


Derek works the count to 2-2. The pitcher comes set and delivers…. Passed ball! Lee Rios scores from third and everyone is going nuts! The stadium is alive with energy and you can feel it pulsate as if you are at an AC/DC concert. Something I know a few of my teammates would enjoy.


I’m yelling at the top of my lungs, and soon my voice becomes raspy, but that doesn’t stop me from screaming.


Tie game, 8-8. Derek eventually draws a walk and once again we have bases loaded and two outs. In steps Riley Goulding, hitless in the game, but still working on a 14-game hit streak.


It’s funny how baseball always gives people a chance for redemption and sets the table for some of the best stories. It never seems to fail.


Everyone baits up their line and casts away into the lake of Edinburg Stadium. The count reaches 1-1. The pitch is delivered and Riley jumps all over it and pulls it down the line, in almost what seemed like slow motion. I can see the third baseman lay out, full extension, as if he has a bead on the ball. The ball is headed right towards his glove, but at the last moment he doesn’t have enough wingspan to reel it in. A run scores and the Broncs win! Needless to say, everyone went wild at this point and the rest is history.


It’s moments like this that make me love baseball. These types of stories will be remembered forever and will be told over and over again. Baseball has the ability to take any player on the field and turn them into a hero in a matter of seconds in all kinds of ways that you can’t even imagine. I myself have been presented with such opportunities. It always reminds me why baseball is such a beautiful game.


Baseball truly is poetic.


So until next time here’s a quote I found amusing the other day.


“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, life is a crazy ride and nothing is guaranteed.” –Eminem




(Head shot by Dutch Cowgill/UTPA Athletics)