SOUTH BEND — For all of his success as an athlete, notably in baseball, Kyle Schmack has never taken his time on the diamond even the least bit for granted.
As he and his South Central teammates shared hugs with family, friends and each other on the concourse of an empty Four Winds Field following a 6-2 loss to Washington Township on Saturday night, the Satellites senior was already missing it.
"I've been playing with Carson (Husmann) for I think this is the tenth year, BJ (Intagliata) like for six, football with Wes (Battleday), Logan (Moser) and I are close friends," Schmack said. "Not seeing them every single day for practice is going to be different. (Assistant coach Jarad) Miller played under my dad for five years. I have a special relationship with him. It sucks. All the other seniors besides Carson, I wanted them to get as many at-bats, as many hits as they want, as many pitches as they want. They don't have the luxury Carson and I have next year to take another at-bat. I just feel for them, more than they know."
There's more baseball ahead for Husmann and Schmack, who will become Missouri Valley Conference rivals at Bradley and Valparaiso, respectively, after one last fling together as teammates on Husmann's travel team, the Midwest Rangers, in the coming weeks.
"It's going to be fun," Husmann said.
Just the same, Husmann would've been happy to put off the change in uniform a couple weeks. The Satellites made it to four regionals and two regional finals, but couldn't clear the hurdle of the second week of the postseason.
"It's just awful because we kind of gave 'em that game," Husmann said. "We beat 'em twice, we knew it was our game coming in. To give it away, to blow it, it's just tough. It was a long day. We had an awesome year, but this was our goal all year. From the start of the year, we wanted to go far."
A great defensive outfielder whose 14 home runs ranked third in the nation, according to Max Preps, Husmann got the call for the championship game, a role he didn't particularly care for, but given the situation, with the Satellites needing his big arm, he took the mound.
"I really wanted to throw the end of the (Fremont) game, to shut it down," he said. "(Coach Ryan Kruszka) talked to me after the game, how are you feeling? It's possibly our last game of the year, give me the ball. I couldn't get a breaking ball over the plate. I was throwing all fastballs. Just as my breaking ball started working the last few weeks, it shut down today."
Schmack, battling neuritis in his pitching arm, was only going to throw in the final if S.C. managed to rally and force extra innings.
"It's just inflamed," he said. "I can't hurt it anymore. They can't do any magic stuff to it. I wish they could. Just rest."
With all due respect to Washington, Schmack wished they could have faced the Senators with more than 90 minutes of rest. That's the time frame S.C. had left after its taxing 5-3, lightning-delayed win over Fremont and the final being moved up two hours due to additional weather concerns.
"It takes a lot to play games back to back," he said. "We were expecting two, three hours, they sat here for four-and-a-half hours. It's the same thing as travel ball, but that's a thing not a lot of guys have done. It's another tough thing to do. That's why the regional is so tough to win. Either you get the early game two hours away or get the back-to-back games and you're also up at 8 (a.m.). It's not exactly a win-win, but you have to find a way to overcome it. (Washington plays) really clean baseball."