As a tough season comes to a close, the baseball team has its sights on a solid performance in the coming weeks.
Players have pushed through countless injuries and illnesses, with starters and backups out for large parts of the year. The spaces in the roster left the team in a tough spot to win close games.
“As a team, it’s been very up and down,” Sixth Form Captain Ryan Reed said. “We’ve had to fight through a lot of exterior stuff and had to just roll with the punches. A lot of guys had to play positions they didn’t think that they would have to.”
Despite the challenges that left the team depleted, coaches see the adversity as positive.
“Things can be a distraction: scoreboard can be a distraction, fans can be a distraction,” Pitching Coach Mike Palombo said. “That stuff can be a distraction from being the best version of yourself, and that’s what we ask, ultimately, every day.”
The experience received from tough losses also benefits the team as a whole.
“We actually have seven guys playing who have not had Inter-Ac experience before, so the extreme positive this year is that we return almost everybody, and they’re gaining invaluable experience.”Pitching Coach Mr. Mike Palombo
“We actually have seven guys playing who have not had Inter-Ac experience before, so the extreme positive this year is that we return almost everybody, and they’re gaining invaluable experience,” Coach Palombo said. “They might be losing the close games right now, but now they know going into next year, well, here’s what I got to do to win those games.”
While next year is promising for the team, players want to see success in the last games of the year. After a close game against Episcopal Academy finally going their way, they hope to maintain their performance for the state championship tournament.
“We’re trying to win all the games,” Fifth Former Jaiden Shuchman said. “We’re no longer playing for the best team in the conference, but … we’re trying to do our best and end the season on a high note so we can go into the PAISAA [Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association] tournament with some momentum.”
Besides focusing on the season ahead, the team has also supported the Mike Tallarida Scholarship Fund, made in honor of the father of Michael Tallarida ’21.
“All of our families have been involved in setting up the day [honoring Mike], making donations.”Pitching Coach Mr. Mike Palombo
“All of our families have been involved in setting up the day [honoring Mike], making donations,” Coach Palombo said. “Everyone here, all the seniors, I know their parents work hard at making sure it’s gonna be a really nice day and, obviously, getting as many people out as possible.”
With another good win behind them and so much to look forward to, the players and coaches are ready to keep climbing.
“The one thing that I think everyone here has taken away, and the credit I really give to the players, is that they’ve taken a lot of hits off the chin, and they’ve learned that in life that’s how it goes, you’re gonna get hit in the chin a lot,” Coach Palombo said. “And they’ve sprung back up, and they’re just ready for the next challenge.”