After tearing his ACL during football season, Covington (Tenn.) High School catcher Kyle Ginn didn’t expect to make a big impact for his baseball team when the season rolled around. He was supposed to be the team’s starting backstop but spent most of the season charting games.
With his Chargers up 9-0 against Forrest High School in the Tennessee Class AA title game Friday, Coach Brad Warmath put Ginn in for his second at-bat of the season (he struck out on senior night) and first of the Spring Fling Tournament. This time, the senior delivered. He belted a two-run home run to give Covington an 11-0 lead. The team eventually won, 11-1, in five innings because of a Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association rule stating that a game is over if a team has a lead of 10 runs or more after five innings.
Ginn slowly trotted around the bases and was greeted by his teammates and coaches at home plate. Ginn became emotional as he made his way to the dugout.
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt led off his midnight show with Ginn’s home run during his “One Big Thing” segment.
Ginn’s ACL recovery isn’t the only adversity the Chargers have had to overcome this season.
Warmath suffered a life-threatening illness when he had his appendix removed along with 20 percent of his colon, which had a mass on it. He had two holes in his colon after doctors completed the original surgery, which caused the colon to become septic, leading to an emergency surgery. Warmath eventually had to have four surgeries and spent the majority of two months recovering in the hospital.
The bad news didn’t stop there. Warmath’s wife, Paige, felt lightheaded when visiting him in the hospital. After a couple of dizzy spells, she was admitted to the emergency room. Multiple tests and an MRI exam detected a cancerous mass on her brain. She has recently begun chemotherapy.
Their son, Ty, was Friday’s starting pitcher, retiring the first three batters he faced. At the plate, he led off a five-run first inning with a triple.
Friday’s blowout win not only cemented Covington’s first championship in 13 years, it marked a proud culmination of an emotional season.