WELLS, Texas (KTRE) - As the Wells Pirates hit the field Tuesday morning, they were relaxed and calm.
Why wouldn’t they be? The field in Wells is home. It might not look like much. There is minimal seating. If you go to a home game, bring a fold out chair unless you are early. Don’t expect any night time games. There are no lights at the field so all the games start around 4 pm. It is the complete opposite of what awaits them.
Wednesday the team will play in their first ever UIL State semifinal. They will play New Home in the at 9 a.m. from Dell Diamond, the Triple-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Houston Astros major league baseball team. The stadium sits 11,000.
“I just told them that the field is like ours," coach Joe Tarrant said. “All season I have said we are just like the other teams. We have a tough district schedule. We can compete. I see other teams make it to state and I think, ‘Why not us?'”
The team has been on a run this season that is one to remember. the team is 16-8 on the year. They have beaten Chireno, Kennard and La Poynor in the playoffs.
“It has been fun,” senior Garrett Allen said. “We are a small town and we get to put Wells on the map. It has been fun. They are all great guys.”
One of the keys to their success has been Jakari Hadnot. He is 8-5 from the mound and is hitting .381. Hadnot playing is a surprise. It almost looked like he would not be making the trip to state.
“last year Jakari had enlisted for military service ,” Wells Superintendent Jim Moore said. " Last summer he did eight weeks of boot camp and then came back to his senior year. He was a different person."
Part of his enlisting with the National Guard program required Jakari to go back this June. He report date was June 5.
“I did not know anything about this date until we beat Kennard,” Moore said. “I called the recruiter and there was not much he could do. So I reached out to the county judge and he got me in touch with a U.S. Congressman’s office and I was able to get help. At 1 p.m. on the Thursday of the LaPoynor series I was notified that his date was moved. Jakari was called as well and he came up to my office that afternoon. I cannot put into words what that meant for us. and for him."
Jakari is ready to go serve his country but he is hoping to have two more great games in him.
“I am excited,” Hadnot said. “I am glad I get to go to state and compete with them.”
The team has six seniors and all of them are wanting to go out on top. For three of them the week is even more special with this being the last time they will play woith each other. The three - Tanner Glover, Logan Tucker and Garrett Allen have all played together since t-ball when they were on the same team. They first walked on the field together and will walk off the field together.
“It has been pretty fun,” Tanner Glover said. “We have been able to grow up together and know how each other work.”
Details for the state tournament can be found here.