“He’s one of my best friends”: Final home game of season for SEMO baseball a memorable one

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – In the top of the 7th inning of a 15-2 SEMO victory on Sunday, one which gave the Redhawks the best home record in the nation at 23-2, left-hander Noah Niznik tossed a 1-2-3 inning on just 12 pitches.

And these were likely the final 12 pitches Niznik will throw at Capaha Field to one of his best friends, catcher Andrew Keck.

The two have been playing baseball together since junior high, and there is a bond between them that cannot be broken.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Niznik said. “It’s been quite an experience. It’s been a ride, honestly. I’ve just enjoyed every bit of it and not taken it for granted.”

“We live together, so that’s getting ready to break up, too. That’ll be different,” Keck said. “I’ve lived with him for four years now. Our relationship’s great, and getting to be able to experience this with him and some of the other guys was pretty cool.”

And if those goosebumps weren’t enough, before the top of the 9th of his final home game, to a standing ovation, senior shortstop Tyler Wilber was replaced in the field by Ty Stauss.

Wilber said the moment was a special one, but there really wasn’t much element of surprise.

“I kind of had a feeling it was coming,” he said. “I saw Ty grab his glove and [coach Andy] Sawyers moving around in the dugout. They didn’t disguise it too well. It was definitely a moment I’ll never forget.”

There is something beautiful and romantic about this game of baseball.

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