Varsity Baseball rebuilds after loss of older players

Senior+captain+Josh+Johnson+throws+a+pitch+in+a+home+game+against+St.+Paul+Johnson.+%22We+have+nine+less+guys+as+in+the+program+compared+to+last+year%2C+which+makes+it+difficult+to+make+complete+rosters+for+both+teams.%22+Junior+Luke+Bishop+said.+Despite+these+losses%2C+the+SPA+team+won+the+game+with+a+promising+10-0+victory.+

Catherine Braman

Senior captain Josh Johnson throws a pitch in a home game against St. Paul Johnson. “We have nine less guys as in the program compared to last year, which makes it difficult to make complete rosters for both teams.” Junior Luke Bishop said. Despite these losses, the SPA team won the game with a promising 10-0 victory.

The Varsity Baseball team has been through many ups and downs in a short period of time. Many seniors have left the squad not all to play baseball but to take their talents to college, including Matthew Fiedler who plays for the University of Minnesota. The amount of talent that has left will be replaced by young, up and coming players who have been waiting patiently for their chance to play.

Unfortunately there are not as many players as last year. “We have nine less guys in the program compared to last year, which makes it difficult to make complete rosters for both teams. So this year we are going to have guys that play both JV and Varsity,” junior Luke Bishop said.

Along with the loss of players, the unpredictable Minnesota weather has greatly affected this years team. The team had the privilege of practicing in the Vadnais Heights Sports Center to get away from the weather, but most to of the time they have been practicing in the gymnasium where there is limited space. “It’s frustrating, but I think it’s worth it,” Bishop said.

Even with the struggles that the team has faced, they have reasons to be optimistic. There are six returning seniors and one new senior that bring experience and leadership to the otherwise young squad. Senior captain Josh Johnson, who last year pitched a no hitter and a perfect game, believes that the team can be successful this year: “I’m excited about this year’s team. Despite losing 12 seniors, our team shows a lot of promise as the underclassmen have stepped in and proven they can contribute significantly. With two returning starting pitchers, we knew we’d have a strong defensive team. However, it’s been exciting to see the offensive punch so early in the season, scoring a total of 20 runs in the first two games.” he said.

“With the weather, the baseball schedule may get condensed and the team might be playing several games in a short amount of time,” Johnson said. “If we can keep everyone healthy, the team plans to be at our peak performance for playoffs. Along with the leadership of the seniors, there are many new faces that have the capability to step in right away and make an impact.”

On the surface it seems as if the team will have difficulty this year, but with the leadership and the dedication of the all players, there is no reason to not be optimistic.