Baseball season arrives as players step up to bat. Photo from Blue and Gold archives.

As spring arrives, so does the spring sports season bringing along with a new season of baseball.

Baseball tryouts took place from March 11th through March 15th and saw an unexpected turnout.

Freshman Luke Zubrzycki decided to tryout for baseball because ”[his] dad likes baseball and [he] played it all [his] life. [He] enjoys playing with his friend”.

As tryouts come to an end, Zubrzycki mentioned, “it will be difficult for all of [them] to join the team, since there are many talented players at every position already.” But Coach Stephen Freker reassures his incoming players saying that “being committed to the team is better than being the best.”

Last season, the team was unable to qualify for the state tournament, but, even as a freshman, Zubrzycki is certain that “nothing is going to stop [the team] from reaching this particular goal this season.”

One obstacle Zubrzycki does anticipate is the impact of the loss of recent graduates. “The season is going to be difficult since [the team] lost so many good players,” he states, but remains hopeful for the potential of new players like himself.

Though the team did not make it to states, players are very hopeful this year, as it seems that the team will be comprised of a balance between new and experienced members, many of which have been playing for nearly four years or plan to play for all four years of their high school careers.

Freshman Shawn Bartholomew is one of those few freshman who intend to play all four years, and his commitment to the team has already secured him a spot on the varsity team.

Bartholomew states that “[he has] played baseball ever since [he] was little. [He] feels like it something [he] is passionate about and want[s] to pursue.” He also comments that having friends that are already on the team incentivized him to play for Malden, as it would make him feel “more connected with his friends.”

Preparing for the season is quite simple. Erick Rodriguez comments, “[the team] practice[s] all the basics and [the players] get in shape for the season.” Ultimately, though, Rodrigues says “it is about making progress, not winning every game.”

With their bats and cleats ready to go, the team is willing to take any challenges thrown at them and make memories that, Rodriguez says “[he and his teammates] will never forget.”

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