On Saturday, April 1, SAU’s men’s baseball team claimed a pair of victories against Indiana Wesleyan University at Hank Burbridge Field, defeating the Wildcats 6-1 in the opener before taking game two 8-5. But the day was about more than just baseball – it was a reminder of what is truly important.
The Cougars hosted Team Buddy Day at the ballpark where they welcomed a new member to their team – 7-year-old Braden “Buddy” Miller.
Buddy is the son of Jeni and Brad Miller, and has two sisters Alyssa and Alexis. Earlier this year, the Millers were given the news that Buddy has diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma – an inoperable tumor that is embedded in the nerves that feed into the pons area of the brain. Despite the diagnosis, Buddy’s positive attitude and unwavering spirit continue to drive him and provide inspiration to everyone he meets.
Prior to the first game against IWU, Buddy delivered the ceremonial first pitch. Both Buddy and his family also cheered for his new teammates from the dugout.
After the game, Buddy made it official and signed a letter of intent to join the Cougars.
“Buddy is an inspiring young boy,” said Head Coach Ryan Marken. “To be faced with this kind of challenge and attack it head on with his unwavering attitude is something we should all take note of. He has had a deep and lasting impact on a lot of the young men on our team. I’ve watched grown men break down in my office talking about Buddy and how he lives his life despite this awful disease. It really puts things into perspective. At the end of the day though, the coolest part is that Buddy knows Jesus. He knows about a miraculous powerful God. A God who heals. And right now we are praying with and for them for a miracle. This boy has and will continue to touch the lives of everyone around him.”