Evan Howley ’22
After a rebuilding season two years ago and a cancelled season last spring, the Blue Storm baseball team has returned to its winning ways this season, now boasting an 8-0 record after doubleheader wins over the Hill School, Episcopal High School, Virginia Episcopal School, and Kiski School.
The team seems to have made a habit of winning. Shortstop Aiden Lorson ’22 says, “At this point in the season, we expect to win. We walk onto the field confident that we can compete with anybody.”
As a team, they take great pride in the preparation they take before each game. Players believe that their hard work during practices and the off-season has allowed them to experience success this season.
Following last year’s disappointing cancellation of a promising season, many returning players were itching to compete again. This year’s season, albeit abbreviated, has provided them with the opportunity to compete with schools in a COVID-friendly environment. Lorson says, “It’s just great to play again, being with this group of guys and playing against other schools has made this spring term memorable.”
Aside from their thorough preparation in practices, members of the Mercersburg baseball team largely credit their team chemistry and high energy for their ability to compete at a high level. Baseball games take anywhere from two to four hours, so when the team travels to play doubleheaders, players can expect to spend their whole day within the lines of the baseball diamond. During these long stretches, it is essential to maintain a high level of energy throughout both games. Pitcher Jake Ahlgren ‘21 says, “Whether it is team meals or bus rides, we are always full of energy. Our goal is to always be the louder team on the field.”
This year there is just a single baseball team, with no distinction between varsity and junior varsity, comprising twenty players and four coaches. This year’s team has a wide variety of talent and experience, ranging from Navy baseball commits to freshmen who are trying baseball for the first time. A core group of older and experienced players have set high standards and made winning the expectation from the first day of practice. The team has embraced the younger and less experienced players while encouraging and pushing them to contribute as much as possible. Catcher Max Awtry ’21 says, “We are successful because we have nine guys that contribute every game. From freshman to seniors, the whole team plays a role in the team’s ability to compete.”
Although there are only four games left, the prospect of a perfect season continues to serve as a motivator for players and coaches alike. Day after day, baseball puts forth effort with an energetic and competitive spirit. Next weekend Mercersburg will make the journey to Kiski with the hopes of winning two more games and keeping the winning streak alive.