FORTWORTH -- After a moment of reflection for the victims of Wednesday's tornadoes, the crack of the bat was soothing Thursday compared to the claps of thunder that came with the destructive storms.

There were no deaths reported in Cleburne, but as many as 600 homes were damaged. Thousands are without power.

"It was bad. It was a bad deal," said Ted Reynolds, who spent much of Thursday morning and afternoon helping neighbors pick up debris and board up homes.

Thursday evening, Reynolds and dozens of other Cleburne residents packed the bleachers at Arlington Heights baseball field for the 4A Regional Quarterfinal game. The high school boys baseball team took on Byron Nelson to advance to the next round of playoff competition.

"A lot of these people were in our neighborhood today supporting us and helping us, and knowing they showed up here today is just amazing," said Holly Fish. Her husband is one of the team's coaches.

Thursday night, much of Cleburne was focused on baseball. People were glad to be out of storm shelters and outside on a warm, clear night. Many people attending the game still without power in their damaged homes and some staying in hotels.

"Our team pulls our town together," Darryle Taylor said. "Even when it's not adverse."

"We even left a little early to go eat dinner and enjoy some air conditioning and just relax a little bit," Kayla Stepp said.

"It's really nice. It's a nice thing to see," Reynolds added.

All eyes were on the field and the players, and looking toward the sky with excitement, instead of apprehension.

Cleburne won 6-to-3. It was a victory that was not only a triumph for the team, but a welcome distraction for a storm-weary community.


Read or Share this story: