Less than two months after they were severely injured in a car accident, two of the best baseball players in the state reunited with their teammates.
While the pitchers for the St. Cloud Rox are still unable to play, Wednesday marked a big step in their recovery.
It was an emotional moment for the team as Dalton Sawyer and Kasey Ralston took to the field because for the first time since their crash, the entire team was back together.
"I was a little bit nervous," Sawyer admitted, "but it was awesome. Seeing all these guys, hanging out, talking with them -- it's fun."
Both Sawyer and Ralston are both are in their first year with the minor league team, which is comprised of the best college baseball players in the country -- but their season was interrupted in late June.
The two friends were traveling together when the car they were traveling in crashed on Highway 7 near New Germany. Ralston, who is still in a wheelchair, nearly lost his life.
"If you are in pain, fight through it," he recommended. "Always wear your seatbelt because that saved my life."
Ralston stood for the first time on Tuesday, and he walked for the first time on Wednesday when he went out to throw the ceremonial first-pitch.
"It was awesome," he said. "Being in the hospital for a month, just ready to get out. No better way to get out than come out on the baseball field."
Sawyer, who suffered a concussion and a collapsed lung, is grateful he has started throwing again.
"It's kind of cliché, but take every day as a gift because you never know when things can end," he advised.
Their teammates certainly know that. In fact, they honored the pitchers at each and every game they missed by hanging their jerseys in the dugout.
"It means a lot, knowing people care for me and are praying for me," Ralston said, adding that he hopes to one day return to pitch for the Rox.