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The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

Baseball wins sixth at National High School Invitational

Pitcher+Braden+Toro+throws+the+ball+in+a+game+against+Winter+Springs.+Toro+was+named+first+team+in+NHSI.
photo by Kayla Rrapi
Pitcher Braden Toro throws the ball in a game against Winter Springs. Toro was named first team in NHSI.

The boys baseball team walked on the field to play the Chaparral Firebirds in the National High School Invitational in North Carolina, for their third game in the tournament. The team was 0-2, and with the stands crawling with scouts, they were hungry for a win.

For the final two games they did just that, coming in sixth overall. They were one of 16 teams in the nation who attended, spending a week in North Carolina from April 10-13.

After losing their first two games to St. John’s College and Farragut, they were naturally upset, especially since they thought they had a chance to win.

“[When you keep losing], you become more jaded, more mad,” second baseman Jones Carbon said. “It’ll just be a snowball effect.”

However, over the next two games they scored them 17 runs, with the Chaparral game ending in a 10-0 win.

“You have to find a way to overcome adversity,” Carbon said. “If you play scared, you’ve already lost. We just go get the job done, and sometimes it doesn’t go our way. Humans make mistakes, but we always always find a way.”

Not only is the tournament a unique way for the players to challenge themselves, it is also an opportunity for the students to play on multi-million dollar fields in perfect weather. The trip gives students the chance to travel with their friends out of state and face the best teams in the country.

“It’s a really good sneak peek into what college and baseball was going to look like,” catcher Bailey Gutierrez said. “It’s really cool that once your games are done you get to relax, just hanging around each other’s rooms, having team meals: things we normally wouldn’t be able to do to a certain degree back home.”

The game is an important opportunity for scouts, who attend every game, often using radar guns to measure how fast players throw a pitch. It is also the most reported event these players may ever attend if they do not continue playing in college. USA baseball and many popular social media accounts cover the game. Plus, the entire event was streamed online.

“What really stuck out to me was the overall attention you get there, because this is such a high-level tournament. It’s definitely nerve racking,” Gutierrez said. “It also makes it so exciting since you really don’t get that experience anywhere else. And then the presence of the scouts just adds another layer.”

Hagerty was invited because of its success in the past, with several former players who are now playing in the major leagues. The tournament serves as a way for up-and-coming players to prove themselves.

“We’re a smaller school, with less guys on our roster,” Gutierrez said. “We don’t have all the bells and whistles that the private schools have. We want to show them we mean business. Just because we’re [a] public school doesn’t mean we can’t still compete with [private school teams] on the field.”

Baseball is a very strategic, mindset-oriented game, and if a player is not mentally there, it shows. A big part of what makes the team successful is the support that the players give each other.

“There’s no other school around that has [the] brotherhood that we have,” Carbon said. “When I look back on the team, I’m very proud of the boys—I can shed a tear talking about how proud of them I am.”

In the regular season, the team has five games left until the district championships. The team hopes to take the momentum from the tournament and contend for district and state titles.

“It’s everything coaches ever asked for for the past four years to win a state title. We checked every box to go win a state title this year and that’s all we’re betting for,” Carbon said. “We got goals and we’re going to make those goals happen.”

 

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About the Contributors
Holly Smyers
Holly Smyers, Staff Reporter
Holly is a sophomore at Hagerty High School, and this is her first year on staff. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading and ice skating.
Kayla Rrapi
Kayla Rrapi, Staff Photographer
Kayla Rrapi is a sophomore at Hagerty High school. This is her first year as a yearbook photographer. She has the most experience taking photos at the sports fields. When she isn't taking photos, Kayla plays club and high school soccer for the Junior Varsity team. Kayla would like to continue pursuing sports photography and interested in growing as a photographer.
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