went from zero to hero in one of the biggest ways possible Friday.
We don't mean to say Gwillim, a sophomore for Monroe (Ore.)
, was a zero. Just that he had zero hits at the varsity level.
Then he smashed a pinch-hit, walk-off home run to win a state title. So now he has one varsity hit - the biggest of the year for his team, which won the title by a 2-1 score.According to The Oregonian
, Gwillim was on the varsity team for one game earlier this season and then sent down to JV. His coach added him to the varsity team just before the postseason and he didn't get any game action in the state playoffs until he was called upon in the bottom of the seventh against Weston-McEwen/Griswold (Athena, Ore.)
in the Oregon School Activities Association 2A/1A title game. The hit to left field clinched his school's first title since 1991 and was only the team's third homer of the season.
“I’m just still trying to comprehend that that happened,” Gwillim told the newspaper. “All of it.
“I was nervous, really nervous. Just hoping to get a base hit.”
His coach, Bill Crowson, said the choice to go with Gwillim was simply chance.
“It wasn’t anything fancy other than Zach swings it well in practice, he works hard, so let’s give him a shot,” Crowson was quoted as saying.
His teammates were as surprised as Gwillim. Outfielder John Essner said “Oh no, I didn’t expect it, but it was awesome,” and Austin Crowson added that he thought “Holy crap. I was freaking out. I was so excited.”