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VIDEO: Can you help a brother out?

MacJournalism Sports Team

Thanks+to+Alec+Worden%27s+clutch+hitting+all+game+long%2C+Eric+Worden+was+the+winning+pitcher+and+Mason+Bryant+got+the+save+as+the+Knights+rallied+to+beat+LBJ%2C+4-3%2C+and+win+their+eighth+straight+district+title.+It+was+another+baseball+highlight+for+the+Wordens+in+a+life+that%27s+been+full+of+them.+Photo+by+Julie+Robertson.
Thanks to Alec Worden's clutch hitting all game long, Eric Worden was the winning pitcher and Mason Bryant got the save as the Knights rallied to beat LBJ, 4-3, and win their eighth straight district title. It was another baseball highlight for the Wordens in a life that's been full of them. Photo by Julie Robertson.

Thanks to Alec Worden's clutch hitting all game long, Eric Worden was the winning pitcher and Mason Bryant got the save as the Knights rallied to beat LBJ, 4-3, and win their eighth straight district title. It was another baseball highlight for the Wordens in a life that's been full of them. Photo by Julie Robertson.

Thanks to Alec Worden's clutch hitting all game long, Eric Worden was the winning pitcher and Mason Bryant got the save as the Knights rallied to beat LBJ, 4-3, and win their eighth straight district title. It was another baseball highlight for the Wordens in a life that's been full of them. Photo by Julie Robertson.

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For siblings who play the same sport, the bonds of team and family are often intertwined. In the annals of American sports history, there are countless examples of siblings who are forever remembered for their shared excellence on their chosen field of play.

Many of those sibling pairs are more famous for playing against each other than they are for playing as teammates.

But some sibling rivals are lucky to have had the opportunity to have played on the same team together at some point and to have shared in the sweetest of victories as teammates and as siblings.

Such was the case last Tuesday when the varsity baseball team defeated archrival LBJ, 4-3, to win the team’s eighth straight district title. The victory was sweet for the whole team, but particularly so for the Worden brothers, who both played pivotal roles in the win.

Senior Eric pitched six strong innings to give the Knights a chance to win the game, but after throwing his final pitch to end the top of the sixth inning, he switched from pitcher to shortstop with his team trailing, 3-2. He might have taken a loss in the most important game of his high school career.

His young brother Alec, the Knights’ regular right-fielder, was not about to let that happen if he could do anything about it. And as is the beauty of the game of baseball, in the bottom of the sixth inning, he was given a golden opportunity to be the hero for his team.

The Shield: “Two outs you’re on third base, your brother’s up at the plate, and you’re losing three to two. So what are you thinking?”

Alec Worden, shown here batting in the alumni game to start the season, almost always makes contact, according to older brother Eric. Photo by Dave Winter.

Eric Worden:I was thinking there was an opportunity because I was at third with no outs, and then there were back to back strikeouts, so it’s kind of deflating. So Alec comes up, and I see his first swing, and I was thinking he’s gonna get ’em. I could just tell.”

 

Eric was confident that his brother would drive come through with two outs. Why was big brother so confident that his young brother would get the job done? Perhaps it’s because the two have played baseball together for as long as they can both remember living.

The Shield: “How did baseball start for you? Did you learn how to play at the same time? At different times? What’s the origin story for Worden family baseball?”

Eric Worden: “We basically both started since we were able to walk. We grew up in it playing it; our dad coached us when we were around two. So we have been playing it since then. My older brother plays, and my cousin Everett got drafted from McCallum. Kind of runs in our blood. 

The Shield: “Did you play a lot of sandlot ball when you were kids?”

Eric Worden: Yeah, like every day we’d be playing Wiffle ball in the house, we either had practice or games, we were just constantly doing something.

The Shield: Were you on the same teams usually?

Eric Worden: “It was usually just me and him, and we’d just go at it.”

In those early Wiffle ball days, the current teammates were adversaries in the house, outside the house … really anywhere they had time and space to pitch and hit a Wiffle ball. Alec remembered the first time he got the better of the exchange.

The Shield: “What’s the best moment you can think about from the Wiffle ball Worden days?”

Alec Worden: “Probably the first time that I hit it to the street against him, which is an accomplishment where we would play at.”

After squaring off against each other in the alumni game, Eric chats with his cousin Everett Williams, who played double A ball after being drafted out of McCallum. Photo by Dave Winter.

The Shield: Hitting it to the street is?

Eric: “It’s like the equivalent of a home run, basically.”

Eric has seen his brother Alec hit a lot of baseballs since that first Wiffle ball home run landed in the street by their house. The long hit parade included this RBI double that got the Knights on the board against the Jags on Tuesday. Eric said he trusts his brother to put the ball in play every time he steps up to the plate.

Eric: “He makes contact a lot, so I can always count on him. If people are on base, he’s not gonna strike out and leave people on bases and he can usually get runners in like in the LBJ game. He hit the ball and it was to the guy, and right as I am running home I look back and I see the ball go under his glove and then I just see Reace running around third and then just slides head first home. It was exciting I was pumped, everybody was pumped. We were ahead in the game, and hopefully we could pull it out.”

The runs proved to be decisive in the game as Mason Bryant came on in the top of the seventh to strike out three Jaguars to preserve the lead that the younger Worden had secured the inning before.

They have been playing together since they were toddlers and Eric said they have played on the same time about five seasons.  Given that long track record, how does this game rank on the all-time list of Worden family baseball moments?

Eric: “It is pretty up there, I feel as an overall game it is up there: one of the top games. Personal performance? No. As a team aspect, one of the top 10 games.”

The Shield: “Alec, how about for you?”

Alec: “As an overall team, and the outcome, [it’s the] best game, but for me I’ve sometimes done more than that., but I love how that one ended for us. That was a great feeling.”

1 Comment

One Response to “VIDEO: Can you help a brother out?”

  1. Reed on May 1st, 2018 10:06 pm

    This is a well done video and I hope to see more videos in the future. Not to mention, this story was a great idea and I think it was executed quite well.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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