Baseball Team Faces Early Setbacks

Early injuries and quarantines plagues baseball team

Boaz Kim, Staff Writer

   Sophomore outfielder Charles Lehr races toward the fence to track down a fly ball. As he reaches out to brace for impact, his right thumb gets caught in the fence. Pain shoots through his thumb as he realizes he’s broken it, joining a long list of sidelined players on the varsity baseball team.

   Last year, the varsity boys baseball team went 5-3 and was looking to improve this year. However, those plans took a backseat when many players were contact traced and had to be quarantined for two weeks. 

   “A couple other players and I were quarantined because of contact tracing, and this really hurt the team because we had just started the season,” sophomore Thomas Kienle said. “Luckily I was able to come back in time for our first game of the preseason against Lake Howell.”

   Despite the setbacks, the team has still been practicing with the players they have and going forward with their season. The team had to bring up JV players to help the varsity team, so the JV season was cancelled because they did not have enough players.

   “It has been hard with many of the guys not being able to play but we have been getting through it without them and I have already seen a lot of our younger players step up,” head coach Jared Incinelli said.

   Injuries have been a big factor as well, with three starters already sidelined from injuries only five games into the season .

   “I have a partially torn labrum and cartilage damage that I guess I hurt from throwing too much,” junior pitcher Cole Merrell said. “It was disappointing because I was forced to sit out the remainder of my basketball season and the start of my junior baseball season.”

   Merrell has been ruled out for the season due to his injury, while other injured players are working hard to get better and get back on the field to help their team out.

   “I have been still working out but I have had to modify the workouts because of my broken thumb,” Lehr said. “It really sucks being out this early, but I am working hard to be ready for when I come back.”

   With so many players out, younger players have had to step up and contribute to the varsity team. 

   “As things have been unfolding we have had a couple players who have stepped up and doing a great job with the opportunity that they have been given and the practices have been great,” Incinelli said. “We even had the opportunity to bring in Slade Cecconi, a Trinity Prep and Miami alumni who was drafted in the first round to the Arizona Diamondbacks, to talk to our guys about working hard and buying into the program.”

   The talk from Cecconi inspired many of the players to work hard and stay dedicated.

   “Slade coming in and talking to all of us was a cool experience for us because he went to Trinity and now he’s a pro for the Diamondbacks, and it meant a lot that he came back and talked to our team,” Kienle said. 

   Even with the early injuries and quarantines, the players and coaches still have high expectations and hopes for the season. 

   “My hopes and goals are always the same and that is to develop these guys as men on and off the field,” Incinelli said. “Winning is something extremely important and something that we love, but one of my main goals for this team is for these players to show discipline and to have a hard work ethic.”

   The team is off to a 4-1 start and is looking forward to the rest of the season ahead of them.

   “Even though we have had a rough start to this season I think we can still pick it up and go on to have a good season,” Merrell said. “I think we need to just get past this rough patch and hopefully, my goal is to have another winning record.”