Last week at Eastern, we saw the beginning of spring sports, meaning that tryouts for baseball started last week as well. There were great turnouts from all grade levels. From the varsity standpoint, the team is shaping up to be worthy of a shot for the state championship. There are a lot of underclassmen coming in who will be of great value to the team. The first day of tryouts saw some impressive improvements from last year; many of the players improved their skills such as their throwing velocity and speed.
Most of the home games this year will be different for the varsity team. Because Eastern’s field faces the wrong direction, the wind usually blows in towards the hitter. This puts each team’s offense at a disadvantage. Therefore, some of the team’s home games will be played at the Meijer Sports Complex in Rockford.
This Tuesday, April 12, the varsity team came home with two sweeping victories against Catholic Central. The score of game one was 16-1 and the second was 12-2. It is clear that all of the out-of-season training that the players did pay off. There were many new varsity athletes that showcased their talent and abilities on Tuesday. Junior Colin Fridsma performed exceptionally well. He had great awareness of the base paths which led the Hawks to score multiple runs. The team as a whole put the bat on the ball very well. There were strings of hits that led to the Hawks’ triumph. The pitcher of the first game, Caleb Kuiper (’22), threw exceptionally with multiple strikeouts. Leo Hearn (’22), one of the team captains who has committed to Bowling Green University for baseball, said “the games went great. The team played very well and I am happy to start the season off on the right foot.”
The rest of the season for the Hawks will have its challenges. There is a great group of athletes and baseball players on the team. If they can all keep up the energy and their passion for the game, then they could be looking at a potential state championship this year. The team started off strong this season, determined and prepared to face anything that comes their way. The seniors on the team especially are determined to finish their high school season strong and pave the way to victory.