Wisconsin Sports

Three tragedies bring Viterbo baseball team together

Three tragedies bring Viterbo baseball team together

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - By the looks of it at batting practice, you would be hard pressed to find a team having more fun than Viterbo.

"Oh, it's a blast," junior Sean Hohmeister said.

"It's just a fun group of guys with a lot of different personalities," senior Ben O'Reilly said.

"We're unique, like any other team. But we've become a real tight-knit group of guys," junior James Martin said.

They're bonded by the wins; they're 25-15. They're also bonded by three hardships.

"There's been some tragic losses this year," O'Reilly said.

O'Reilly lost his mom in January, right before the season started.

"She was diagnosed with acute leukemia and three days later they couldn't cure it fast enough and she was gone from us," he said.

"There's really nothing you can say. Ben losing a parent with no notice at all, and all of a sudden he's lost his mom," Martin said. "That was really tough because that was even more recent than mine."

Martin's dad passed away last summer.

"When I'm on the field, I'll think about him and I know that he would always be in the stands. I know he's still watching. He's still at every one of my games."

And for Hohmeister, tragedy struck in March. His family lost their house in a fire.

"We've been there all my life. It's tragic but when something like that happens, it's pretty awesome to have a team full of guys like this," Hohmeister said.

Three tragedies, three guys feeling down, three guys lifted by their team.

"For me, being out here with the guys, it's kind of like my family and it clears my head and makes it fun and enjoyable," O'Reilly said.

"It's got that underlying meaning but really, it's just a kids game," said Martin. "We're young men getting ready for the rest of our lives enjoying the last few moments we get to have on this field."

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