But his tank wasn’t quite empty yet.
The Brentwood pitcher made sure his grandmother knew he was thinking of her after he tossed a six-hitter to help the Eagles take a 3-1 win Saturday over Windsor to take the GISA Class AA state championship in two games.
The trophies had been presented and some pictures taken when Bonifay sprinted down the left-field line, climbed the fence and peeked into a van just beyond. In it sat his grandmother, recuperating from hip surgery but unable to sit out in the high temperatures.
Bonifay and his teammates delighted Jane Pate and the rest of the home crowd with their second consecutive 3-1 win in the championship series against a stubborn Windsor team that finished 21-9 after taking the Eagles (31-1) to the limit.
And that’s something that hasn’t been done in a awhile. Brentwood won six playoff games by an average of 14.5-1.7.
“They’ve got good pitching, and we do, too, and that’s why you had two good games,” Windsor head coach Ricky Worsham said. “They’ve just been hammering people. They haven’t been challenged in the playoffs, really. That’s taking nothing away from the teams they’ve played. They’ve just been on fire.”
Brentwood beat Windsor 6-3 and 9-0 in the regular-season meetings.
“Windsor’s a good ballclub,” first baseman-pitcher Josh Wolfe said. “They came to play. They gave up a lot of unearned runs in the (second) one. They’re a better team than they were that day. They came to play (Saturday).”
Brentwood won the program’s first state title with wins that were remarkably similar as the Eagles came up with pitching, defense and offense that was just a little better than the Knights’.
“Best all-time,” Bonifay said of his outing. “Every pitch was working. The first inning, I had those nerves. The seventh inning, I didn’t know what to do.”
Four errors opened the door on Friday, and the Knights cut that down to one on Saturday. Windsor was within striking distance in both games, but couldn’t get enough offense going.
“This is a really special team,” Brentwood coach Brannon Bonifay said.