KEZI 9 Sports Senior Series: South Eugene Baseball

Whether it's a conversation in the dugout, laughter on the bus ride home or a walk-off home run, the memories are deep for the South Eugene baseball team.

Posted: May 29, 2020 11:07 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- South Eugene baseball seniors Bryce Boettcher and Kaden Miller said they wouldn’t be who they are today without high school athletics.

The truth is a lot of us wouldn’t know where we’d be without our passion. Baseball just happens to be theirs.

Boettcher and Miller are two of the six seniors on the South Eugene high school baseball team. Their story is like so many other athletes across the country: seniors with so much ambition and hope for a season that never transpired.

“We looked at each other and were like there’s no way. No. It’s not going to happen,” said Boettcher. “Then it was kind of surreal. One week went by, then two weeks and we were like man this is really happening.”

“We were all pretty disappointed and sad that we aren’t ever going to get to play on this field again,” Miller said.

No, they won’t get that opportunity again, which is heartbreaking to say the least. But Boettcher and Miller are fortunate enough and talented enough to not hang up the cleats quite yet. Both are playing at the next level. Miller for the Linn Benton Roadrunners. Boettcher for the Oregon Ducks.

“It’s always been my dream to one day play in the bigs. So being able to continue my baseball career and keep on growing is amazing,” said Miller.

For Boettcher, his decision was years in the making. The Boettchers have a lineage at the University of Oregon. So his fate was sealed in the green and yellow.

“When you have a couple other schools on your radar you think wow this sounds awesome,” said Boettcher. “But in the end I know if I was going to be playing the Ducks in a doubleheader, I’d be thinking to myself I wish I was wearing that Oregon jersey. So I chose Oregon.”

This season came to an unfortunate, abrupt ending. The Axe did not get a chance to redeem themselves after a first round exit from the 6A state playoffs last year. But the memories for this team are too deep to hang their heads.

"It's unbelievable the memories you make sitting at shortstop with Dyaln at third and Andrew at second. Just communicating with them during a pop fly then going into the dugout after and saying ‘hey what did I tell you?’ The little things like that make baseball awesome,” said Boettcher.

Miller has a specific game that sticks with him.

“The best memory I have is against Grants Pass when Dylan Edwards hit a walk-off home run to win the game,” said Miller. “It was probably the craziest experience I had in my life. No one really cared what they were doing. They were just freaking out and having a good time.”

Which is what high school sports is all about.

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