Baseball Team Wants to Make Statement This Year
Joshua Thompson, Veritas Staff
Winter sports took the season by storm with league titles in hockey, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball and wrestling. Now the baseball team wants to join these sports in their success.
It has been a while since these Bulldogs have notched a playoff berth. The team looks to change that when this spring comes to a close, as every team’s one goal is to solidify a spot in the tournament.
Veteran coach Nick Liquori said, “Goals remain the same, always want to qualify for tourney, compete for a league title, get better each day. Sounds generic, but with baseball we constantly need to be on our game mentally, the game changes so much pitch to pitch.”
Mr. Liquori also says every year is different from the last. However, the Bulldogs have more than one player with varsity experience which is something Mr. Liquori likes. “I will look to more leadership from everyone.”
With opening day approaching you wonder how the coach feels about the upcoming season. Mr. Liquori jokingly said, “I’d feel better if there wasn’t going to be any snow on the ground Monday the 20th.”
Every team has its seniors who are playing in their last high school season. Mike McPeck is one of those players, but he is not just any player. McPeck is coming off a great junior season on the mound for the Bulldogs. He will be one of the players that hopefully propel the Dogs into a tournament berth at the season’s conclusion.
Just like most senior athletes McPeck has mixed emotions about his last season being on the horizon. “I’m pretty sad this is my last season, but I’m also looking forward to a good season as well.”
Everybody has that one thing about a sport that makes you love it. McPeck’s reason is one of the oldest in the book. “My favorite thing about high school baseball would be playing with my friends who I have grown up playing with my whole life. It makes it much more fun and easier to play, since we’ve all been together for so long.”
The Bulldogs struggled last year on the hitting side of the game. McPeck said, “I think the team is looking to improve on hitting mostly. Our pitching and defense was quite good last year losing 4 or 5 games by 1 or two and only letting up 2-4 runs. I think we are looking to hit better as a team this year and be on the flip side of losing close games.”
He is not wrong when he says the pitching was good as McPeck finished the year 6-1 with a 0.70 ERA.
Another player looking to make a helpful impact for the team is Jonathan Baar. Going into his junior year with the team JB, as his friends call him, also started for the football and basketball teams. So, he is not shy from a lead role in sports. He already knows how he plans to help the team positively. “I plan to help the team by taking charge of the out field from my center field position and having a better hitting performance.”
Some new players attended the baseball try-outs this year.
“There are a couple new faces I am surprised to see. I was surprised to see Jakigh (Marcelin) and Dunnie (Matt Dunn) at the meeting. I’m looking forward to hopefully playing with them this spring,” said McPeck. These new players could bring an unexpected spark to the team.
The season will kick off on April 4 in Pembroke. The Dogs’ first three games are on the road. The home opener will be on April 13 against EB.