Rally birds

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 27, 2017

As the Blue Devils laced their cleats for game two of the third round of the playoffs against Long Beach, the night was calm, but tensions were high. The Devils won game one at Long Beach, but this time around, PRC needed a little bit of luck on their side to get past the Bearcats, which they received—in an odd way—at the perfect time.

At first, PRC was sloppy in game two, failing to finish routine plays on defense and an inconsistent batting performance they otherwise would normally do with ease.

Nothing seemed to be going the Blue Devils way that night as they let Long Beach get out to a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

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Then, one of the strangest and most powerful phenomenon I have witnessed at any sports event occurred under the Saturday night lights. The Blue Devils nation believes it is the reason they came back in what was thought to be an automatic win for the Bearcats.

A flock of more than 10 white birds flew over the field at about 9 o’clock as the game was shifting between the top and bottom of the sixth inning. Now, normally this wouldn’t catch my attention, but there was something about these birds. They were abnormally white, glowing to light up the dark blue sky and just moments before the bottom of the sixth inning began, they vanished.

A couple of seconds later, PRC’s Caleb Tynes began an unbelievable comeback with a two-run RBI single to chop at Long Beach’s lead. And even after conceding a run in the ensuing inning, PRC still found the strength to continue its rally after Austen Izzio tripled two runs home, bringing PRC one run away from tying the game. The next batter, Hayden Dunhurst continued the rally, singling for an RBI to tie the game 5-5.

After Eli Lee, Conner Holston and Josh Kennedy all hit consecutive singles to fill the bases, Tynes once again came up huge, knocking in the final run with a walk-off RBI single to put a cap on a nearly impossible feat.

As a tribute to the wild occurrence, white birds were seen at just about every Blue Devils game then onward. They were fake birds, of course, brought by fans, employing a level of superstition that may well have helped the team climb to the top.

Coincidence? I like to think not.