They learned the game together as little kids, played countless games of catch together and finally played on the same high school team together.
Montgomery captured its second District 4 Class A championship Saturday at Bowman Field, blanking Canton, 4-0. All the players will remember that night forever, but it might have even more special meaning for a pair of brother tandems, John Goetz and Thomas Goetz and Corey Kriner and Garrett Shnyder.
A lifetime watching each other, supporting each other and playing together has produced the ultimate payoff.
"This is the peak. This is something that I will never forget," John Goetz, Thomas' older brother said. "To see him (Thomas) come out as a freshman and just have that moment makes me proud as a big brother and it makes me really happy as a ball player."
"It's amazing to win this and have a brother on the team," Corey Kriner, Shnyder's younger brother said. "Words can't even explain this."
On top of winning this championship together and helping Montgomery (18-2) set a program record for wins, all four players had good games. John Goetz went 1 for 2 with a run, Thomas Goetz drove in a run and played great defense, Kriner belted a two-run single and Shnyder threw a marvelous three-hit shutout.
Whatever the future holds, these brothers can forever look back at Saturday's game and know that they shared one of the proudest moments in Montgomery history together. They can forever recall the night they had a moment players dream of and know that they owned it.
"It's great," Thomas Goetz said. "We're going to get a lot of good times and memories from this season and this game."
While Thomas and Kriner will have other shots at winning district titles this was their brothers' last opportunity. They had come close last year, losing to Muncy in the final and, despite losing five starters from that team, have now helped Montgomery have the best season in program history.
Shnyder seemed invincible on the mound, while Kriner made it 3-0 with a big fourth-inning, two-run single after Thomas had drawn a two-out walk that scored a run. John scored the game's second run, coming home on his brother's walk.
John is a three-year starter who has flourished in his final season and played a stellar third base. From there he had a good view of his brother playing the best game of his young scholastic career. Thomas made two great plays at second base, including the game's final play. After combining with Alex Worthington to turn a double play, Thomas snared a hard-hit Wesneski grounder, erasing a potential hit before making the easy throw to first for the last out.
"Most of the time I was just trying as a freshman to just do what's asked of me but once I got out on the field today there was just something about it," Thomas said. "It just felt good."
Kriner has felt good throughout the postseason, delivering three hits the past two games while doubling and driving in two runs. His fourth-inning hit was probably the biggest of his young career since the sophomore gave his team a four-run lead on a night when it appeared the 1927 Yankees would have a hard time hitting his brother.
"I got to first and I looked over at my teammates and they were cheering for me, it was great," Kriner said. "We couldn't seem to put hitting, fielding and pitching together at the same time all season and it was nice to do a little bit of all of it tonight and to do this with my brother on my mound is just great."
Montgomery has won five straight games and 11 of its last 12. It handed Class AA state qualifier South Williamsport its first loss and is state tournament-bound for just the second time in program history. It has been quite a run for a team that looked like it might be in rebuilding mode after losing so many quality players from last year's district finalist.
"This is a team that can win games. This is a team that really has come together," John said. "This is a team I'm proud to be on because this is the culmination of four years and there is no better feeling in the world."
Now, the Red Raiders are four wins from capturing a state championship. Montgomery is only focused on Pius X, Monday's first-round opponent but these brothers already are getting a nice bonus for winning districts.
They get to play together at least one more time.