LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

With his team one strike from winning the first state championship in Bermudian Springs history for any sport, Nathan Emlet stared at his catcher and began the wind up. Just one more strike, he thought. The senior reared back and fired a fastball with every ounce of energy he had left in his arm after 111 pitches. It topped 80 mph on the radar gun, well above his typical mid-70s fastball.

Swing and miss. Strike three. The Eagles are state champs.

"At that stage of the game, I was just trying to get outs. That's all that mattered," Emlet said. "It was a 3-2 count, and he had already fouled three or four pitches off, so I threw him a high fastball and got him."

Five years to the week later, Emlet and the Eagles still look back on that magical 2010 title run fondly. They were rewarded with a parade upon their return to Adams County. The loyal Bermudian fan base lined the streets as a police escort led the Eagles' bus around York Springs, Lake Meade and East Berlin. Children lined up for autographs and state Rep. Will Tallman invited the players to Harrisburg for official recognition at the Capitol.

"We felt like we were in the pros for a day," Emlet said. "All those people cheering for us and taking pictures ... it was unreal."

Explore the complete Throwback Thursday series

While the season's end had a storybook feel, the 2010 campaign did not start the way Bermudian wanted. The Eagles dropped their first three games, including a mercy-rule loss to Delone Catholic, and were a strike away from starting 0-4.

After the 0-3 start, assistant coach Eric McClintic called his brother-in-law.

"I told him that we could win the state title," said McClintic, who is the current head coach. "All of the components were there and after we were 0-3, they just knew they had to fight harder."

A month later, the Eagles trudged along with a mediocre 7-6 record and came off two straight losses to Biglerville and West York. They were outscored 16-1 in those two losses.

Then all of a sudden, things started to click. Bermudian finished the regular season on a six-game win streak, then won a rematch with Delone before falling to South Western in the YAIAA title game. That, however, was the Eagles' last loss of the season.

"We got hot at the right time," McClintic said. "Our bats came alive and our pitching was strong from top to bottom. We were winning each pitch and that was our goal."

The Eagles dominated the district playoffs, winning all three games by a combined 30-10 score, capped off with a 15-4 win over their familiar foe, Delone — coincidentally the same score from the Squires' season-opening win against Bermudian.

"They had 10-run ruled us earlier and they had beat us 18-0 in the league title game the season before, so our guys were fired up," McClintic said of the postseason matchups with Delone. "They had our number for so many years. That was our locker room motivation."

Bermudian won four state tournament games by combined score, 30-13, and defeated District 6 runner-up Martinsburg Central, 5-3, in the Class AA final at Blair County Ballpark in Altoona.

Emlet pitched a complete game and struck out nine hitters after surrendering a solo home run in the first. After Emlet struck out the side in the seventh to clinch the state title, catcher Kevin McManama tossed the ball in the air, raced out and lifted him high in the air.

"I just got goosebumps after that final pitch," said Mike Thoman, a junior shortstop on that squad. "That was unreal. That whole moment took my breath away."

Thoman, Emlet and the Eagles accomplished what no team in any sport in school history had before them.

"What I was most upset about was that Kevin threw the ball away so we didn't get a chance to keep it," Emlet joked. "But at that moment, I felt more relieved than anything. Once I saw him running out, it was amazing. I've never felt anything like that."

As McClintic watched his squad celebrate with fans back at Bermudian's football field later that night, the magnitude of the moment started to sink in.

"That's the reason I'm still doing this (coaching) today," McClintic said. "You don't realize how hard it is to win a state title. That's something you cherish for the rest of your life."

Explore the complete Throwback Thursday series

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.gametimepa.com/story/high-school/york-adams/baseball/2015/06/24/throwback-thursday-bermudian-baseball-reflects-2010-state-title/75261672/