Stonewall Jackson senior Garrett Smith described Friday as the most emotional day of his life, one in which he experienced both extremes.
The day began with a small, makeshift graduation ceremony in front of friends and family in the Manassas school's auditorium. And it ended with him shedding tears of disappointment after the Raiders' season ended with a 2-0 loss to Princess Anne in the Virginia AAA semifinals at Plumeri Park.
"We feel bad right now," Stonewall Coach Andy Devitt said. "But we can't let this loss take away from the run we made. This was a magical run. We'll probably remember this run for the rest of our lives."
Stonewall (16-12) began the season 3-9, and was the fourth-seeded team entering the Cedar Run District tournament. The Raiders weren't guaranteed to make it to the Northwestern Region tournament, much less advance to the state semifinals.
"I'm so proud of what my teammates did," said Smith, who played third base Friday. "To stick together and get this far. . . . It hurts, this being my last game in high school and not being able to graduate with my teammates. It's not the way you want things to end."
Smith and the Raiders had their chances against junior right hander Zach Woods (7 innings, 5 hits allowed and 5 strikeouts).
Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, the Raiders loaded the bases with one out. But Stonewall's starting pitcher, Chris Boggs, who tossed a complete game five-hitter, lined hard to the Princess Anne second baseman, who turned it into a double play.
The Raiders had another opportunity in the bottom of the seventh inning, when they had runners on first and second with two outs. But senior Andrew Rust flew out to center field to end the game.
"If we would have scored a couple of runs, I think I could have done something with it," Boggs said. "I knew we had the team to get this far, we just had to come together, And we did, at the right time. This program has come a long way."
Stonewall's loss prevented a fifth meeting this season between the Raiders and Osbourn, which played Princess Anne (22-6) yesterday afternoon in the state championship.