That include spitcher Austin Warren. But for him, the season finale was special for different reasons. Along with carrying one of the lowest ERAs on the staff, he carried the weight of his 14-month-old son, Peyton, who was born at the beginning of last season.
"It's great, he means the world to me," he said. It's great having him here."
It's a huge responsibility for anyone, let alone a student-athlete, but for him and his fiance Carissa, it's been worth it.
"It's been nice. I mean, there's been bumps in the road. But, as young parents, we're doing what we can to just give a good life for him and do all we can to help him out."
"You have to put life in perspective a little bit," Northwest Head Coach Darin Loe said. "It's not just all about yourself when you have a child to raise. It's another level of commitment."
It hasn't been easy trying to be a better pitcher and a father, but Warren's teammates say he always handled the pressure well.
"I don't think I ever heard him complain one time about being tired or not feeling up to anything," outfielder Jon Pomatto said. "He came out everyday and he played as hard as he could, worked as hard as he could."
Loe also believes Warren's responsibilities off the field made him a better leader on it.
"He hasn't missed a beat on the baseball field or in the classroom, he said. "He's been outstanding and just a calming personality in the dugout."
Now that his baseball career is over, Warren wouldn't mind seeing his son pick up the game in the future. But for now, just to see Peyton have fun on the same diamond as his dad means everything.
"Mainly he just takes off running around here," he said. "He doesn't really pay a whole bunch of attention to the game, but he likes running around. It's amazing. I'm glad he's happy. As long as he's happy I'm happy."
Warren said he would now like to attend graduate school and study sports psychology.
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