It was a win for the team. And a huge victory for Collin Demas.
After missing all of his junior season while battling leukemia, and after recently being told by doctors that he was cancer free, the Scottsdale Horizon senior first baseman connected on the first pitch he saw in his first start of the season Friday afternoon for his first hit since his world was turned upside down in January 2018.
He laced it for a double that brought in a run during the Boras Classic at Tempe Corona del Sol High School. His best friend, shortstop Kody Huff, added a solo home run and picked up the save.
Those would be big runs, as Horizon went on to beat Glendale Mountain Ridge 3-2.
Collin’s comeback moment was captured on film by his sister, Addie Demas.
“It felt great,” Collin said. “I was guessing first-pitch fastball.”
Last season was about Demas’ battle, as Horizon players wore shirts that said, “#9strong: and “CollinStrong” and “We Are In This Together!”
RELATED: Horizon’s Collin Demas beats cancer
With Demas winning the cancer war, this has been about a new beginning, as former Horizon standout Jeff Urlaub took over the program from legendary coach Eric Kibler and named Demas one of his captains.
“I was cheering him non-stop and I could just feel something great was meant to happen when he came up,” said Huff, who has signed to play baseball at Stanford. “He’s earned it with all of the adversity he’s dealt with in the past year.
“Watching him cruise into second base after knocking in what ended up being a crucial run was awesome. The smile on his face was priceless and I know this was something him or any of his teammates won’t soon forget.”
Demas said he won’t pitch this season because of an injury to his arm, the toll the rounds of chemotherapy took that weakened his body.
But he hopes to get some more shots at playing first base and batting.
“I’ve not had a great (at bat) in over a year,” he said. “To get that hit, it was an amazing feeling.”