Love is Gone at the Sweets

The eighth-inning rally song has players, Sweet Lou and fans punching along to the same notes.

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Sweet Lou moves his onion's fist along with the beat during the Sweets' eighth-inning rally cheer.

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The Walla Walla Sweets revs themselves up during the middle of the eighth inning of Thursday's ‘Love is Gone' rally song, which is played during close games.

As the ball games wind down at Borleske Stadium, with just an inning or two to go, music suddenly fills the air.

And with the familiar tune echoing across Walla Walla, fists are pumping, then whirling madly.

First, it's the Sweets players, lined up against their dugout rail.

Then it's the staffers, Sweet Lou, the fans. Young, old. In the beer garden and chowing on popcorn.

It's ‘Love is Gone,' by David Guetta, and it brings the ballpark together.

It starts with a rhythmic right fist pump to the dance-pop beat, then the fist-swing gets wider.

As the tempo increases, so too does the frenetic fist action, until both hands are whirling through the air.

Suddenly, a pause.

But just as fast, it's back it wild action.

At another signal the rhythmic pump begins again, and then - the cheer is done.

‘Love is Gone' started last year with just Sweet Lou, but this year all of Borleske has caught on, said music and multimedia intern Jason Sease.

Other schools, including Ole Miss, have done this already but it's a new tradition in the West Coast League.

"In the beginning, a few players behind the dugout did it, and it progressed into the general admittance section behind the dugout, then to the seats behind home plate, then all the way around," Sease said, sweeping his arms out to include the whole park.

Sweet Sean Santschi brought the idea to the dugout and taught them the moves, which have stuck.

It's played in the eighth-inning stretch, when the whole team is in the dugout. Though other times have been tried, it's the eighth that has the best result, Sease said.

And it's played in close games - with the Sweets up or down by four runs.

For the players, it's a good rallying cry - and keeps their heads in the game.

"It keeps some life out there," said pitcher Kevin Williams. "It gives us something to look forward to after the seventh-inning stretch."

It's also fun to see the fans join in.

"It's cool," Williams said. "We weren't expecting that. This wakes everybody up, and it's another fun baseball thing to do."

And indeed, on this cool July night, with a 3-1 Sweet lead, all the boys of summer were there, with their fans, Sweet Lou and staff behind them, as frenetic fist pumps turned into sweet victory.

Love is gone.

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