The magic finally ran out.
The baseball gods, who had been so kind to Jesuit-based Retif Oil all summer long, apparently had seen enough.
The nation’s hottest American Legion team cooled off at the most inopportune time, falling to Chapin-Newberry, South Carolina, 9-2 Tuesday night in the championship game of the World Series.
The players will return home from Shelby, North Carolina on Wednesday, but without the World Series trophy that seemed like they were destined to win.
Especially after their come-from behind, 10th-inning victory Monday night in the semifinals that put them just nine innings away from a title.
That kept alive a winning streak that had been piling up since early June.
The cliché “that’s baseball” didn’t seem to apply to this team on its magical run.
Even the best baseball teams sometimes hit a stumbling block somewhere along the way.
But the Jesuit-based team somehow didn’t experience any hiccups until Tuesday night in front of a crowd of 8,286 fans, including Kenny Retif, who owns the company whose name is across the front of their blue uniforms.
A team that had hit and pitched and fielded so well during an undefeated run in both the state tournament and then the Mid-South Regional Tournament, finally didn’t have it.
They gave up a three runs in the sixth and then saw the wheels come off in the eighth when they gave up four more.
They fell just a game short of winning what would have been the school’s first World Series championship in four years.
It also would’ve been the fourth title overall.
The first one came in 1946 on the team whose captain was shortstop Don Wetzel, who later invented the ATM.
The second was in 1960, led by future big leaguer Rusty Staub.
And the third was in 2012, sparked by current Tulane pitcher Emerson Gibbs.
They could have used some of that 1960 magic Tuesday night.
That 1960 team beat a team from Montana in the title game. That Montana team was led by pitcher Dave McNally, who went on to play in three Major League All-Star Games and win two World Series titles with the Baltimore Orioles.
That Jesuit team was having trouble with McNally, but during the game they figured out that the Montana catcher was setting up differently for certain pitches.
That little tip helped Jesuit win.
That sure would have helped against South Carolina’s Tristan Smaltz and Ryne Huggins.
Jesuit, which had gotten clutch hits from all up and down the lineup during its run, managed just five hits.
They were looking to add one more trophy to what has been a major haul of trophies to Banks Street and Carrolton Avenue over the past year.
Jesuit won the Division I football state championship in December and also won state titles in cross-country and tennis this past school year. In addition, the Blue Jays finished as runners-up in soccer, swimming and wrestling.
They have nothing to hold their heads down about, though.
It would have been a fitting end to a magical run that started in the 2014-15 school year and spilled over into the current one.
But it wasn’t meant to be.