Jacob made the 40-mile trip. Three innings into the game, one of the coaches noticed he was standing several feet away from the dugout. He was invited to be on the bench.
“The thing was we loved having him in the dugout,” said Tingis of Lowell. “He was loud. He was energetic. To be honest, he helped us a lot.”
Jacob told the team about his Little League team in Gilmer and several players said they might try to make his game later that night.
Well, the entire team made the trek in two mini-vans, shocking Jacob.
“I couldn’t believe it,” recalled Jacob. “It was one of the best feelings I ever had, seeing the whole team there to watch me. I was so pumped up.”
His mom recalled wiping away some tears as the team went onto the field for huge “team” photo with both Little League teams. In fact, the local newspaper in Gilmer ran the photo and wrote a story.
“It was one of the nicest gestures anyone had ever done for Jacob,” said Kativa.
Jacob said his team lost 14-2 that night under the lights.
“But honestly, it felt like we won the game,” recalled Jacob. “I had two hits and made a few plays at shortstop and they went wild for me. I’ll never forget it.”
One reason he couldn’t forget it was after the NECC team returned home a few days later, a few players, including Tingis, kept up with Jacob all year.
“He would always report to me how he did in a game or practice,” said Tingis. “I would give him a few tips, what to work on. It was like having a little brother. We texted each other a lot.”
When NECC went on a surprising winning streak near the end of the season this past spring, eventually qualifying for the World Series again, Jacob was waiting for them.