Tennessee Takeover: Baseball sweeps in Nashville tournament

After winning all of their games in Tennessee, baseball hopes to carry momentum to the rest of the season

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Over spring break, the New Trier boys baseball team went to Nashville, Tennessee for a tournament, winning all three games.

“It was a great opportunity to play in warm weather and give a lot of the guys on the team opportunities. At the same time, spending so much time in Tennessee helped our camaraderie more than anything, as we all got to know each other better,” senior outfielder Matt Roth said.

The team played Brentwood academy, a recent state champion in Tennessee, and won 9-0. They also played Immaculate Conception and Christ Presbyterian Academy, winning the games 13-0 and 8-2.

Having such a strong showing in Tennessee was a goal for the team to ensure that the momentum carries over into conference play.

Since the team was in Nashville for four days, they spent their free time taking advantage of the city.

“Outside of baseball, we played paintball, went to an escape room, and went to a Vanderbilt vs Lipscomb college baseball game,” senior middle infielder Evan Hummel said.

Roth added, “Everyone on our team was really excited for paintball. The best bonding was probably spending time in the hotel playing cards and Fortnite, since we all had the chance to spend time with each other for four days in a row.”

Building strong team chemistry is a goal for the team this year. Last year, the team was very senior heavy.

Adjusting to new starting roles is a key for the returning varsity players this year. “Last year our starting lineup was mainly seniors who had also started their junior year,” Roth said. He continued, “This year our starting lineup is still up in the air, and lots of guys will continue to get opportunities to earn their starting spots, whether they are seniors or juniors.

Due to the team’s depth, we will all work hard day in and day out as we compete for open spots.”

Senior pitcher Drew Gorski said, “I think the difference between this team and teams from other years is the depth that we have on the mound and the ability to change the game with one swing of the bat due to a bunch of big guys who have the ability to hit one out of the park during every at bat.”

In fact, the team has over 10 guys who stand at least 6’4.

While the team wants to win another state championship for the program, they have plenty on their plate for goals this year. Gorski said that the team is focusing on bonding and enhancing relationships, while also playing error free baseball.

“We always strive to be competitive in everything we do as well as representing the program in the best way possible,” Hummel said.

The team consists of 23 players, 13 seniors, 8 juniors, 1 sophomore, and 1 freshman. The captains, all seniors, are Nathan Shapiro, Payton Burch, Cam Redding, and Anthony Calarco.

“They have all done a great job making sure everyone is working hard everyday,” said Hummel.

Currently the team is 8-1. “We are definitely looking strong but for sure have not played our best baseball yet,” Gorski said. Roth built on that by saying, “Ultimately, the team has a lot of potential but we can’t become complacent. We will have to work hard everyday at practice to get where we want to be at the end of the year.”

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