PUTNAM/KANAWHA COUNTIES, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Teams and law enforcement united Friday night to show support long after the tragic shooting deaths of two West Virginia State Police troopers last year.
"We thought, you know, what better way to honor them than to put the two together?" said Deputy Jeremy Yost, who is also a baseball coach at Poca High School.
Last August, Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman were killed after being shot during a traffic stop along Interstate 79 in Clay County, W.Va.
On Friday, Bailey’s two young kids threw out the first pitches at the Buffalo-Poca High baseball game. Bailey went to Poca High School.
"I think Marshall would be laughing right now if he saw that. We were never quite the baseball players, and to see Wyatt out there throw the ball -- I think he really would have been tickled with that," said Justin Bailey, Marshall’s brother.
Meanwhile, at the Riverside-Nitro baseball game, the memories of Eric Workman’s days on the diamond weren’t lost.
"Everything he did, he did 100 percent and he did it with integrity, and he was just always known as someone you look up to," said Riverside High baseball coach Chris Hawkins, who played ball with Workman.
And with the teams and law enforcement lined up showing support, it wasn’t just to honor the memory of the two brave troopers, it was also about life lessons.
"To show these boys, you know, give them something that they remember, something to stick with them the rest of their lives," Yost said.
"And showing that unity within the neighborhood and law enforcement -- that's a huge takeaway for the kids is that team players that we have out here," Putnam County Sheriff Steve DeWeese said.
It all represented playing in the memory of those left behind, while looking toward the future.