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Xavier News

The Student News Site of Saint Xavier High School

Xavier News

The Student News Site of Saint Xavier High School

Xavier News

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Underdog Mentality Fuels Tiger Baseball

Although the weather might not always feel like it, spring is officially here, and that means the St. X baseball season is in full swing.

As a top-ranked team last year, the Tigers finished 31-9 and collected a district championship for the 26th time before falling in the region 7 championship game to Eastern. The team is looking to have an underdog mentality this year, with many media rankings having the Tigers outside the top 15 in the state preseason rankings.

St. X dugout celebrates after scoring run (Photo used with permission of Jack Bates)

Ryan Comella, a senior catcher for the Tigers, likes this underdog mentality and thinks it will be effective by getting the team to constantly work hard.

“Obviously last season didn’t end like we’d hoped it would and after the new rankings coming out with us at 19, there are probably some teams that have counted us out and don’t see us as a threat anymore,” Comella said. “I think those two factors are going to make us play with a chip on our shoulders and shock a lot of people. I also think the underdog mentality will allow us to fly under the radar and come out big out of nowhere when the time is right. We won’t have as much attention on us this year compared to years prior, which I think is good. Yeah, attention is good and all, but we need to keep our heads down and grind.”

Ryan Comella throwing the ball back to the pitcher (Photo used with permission of Jack Bates)

The team this year is heavily powered by its junior class, which consists of 10 players on the team. The Tigers also have many sophomores that will make big impacts on the team this year. However, the four seniors are a very important part of the team.

With the departure of key players from last year’s team, including Cooper Smith (Troy), Landon Akers (Bellarmine) and Ty Starke (Louisville), new faces will have to step up this year to carry on the program’s success.

Kaden Ford, a junior outfielder and pitcher, thinks it’s important for both the young players and returning players to step up to fill this void.

“It’s hard to replace the guys we lost, but we definitely have the talent and depth to do it,” Ford said. “We are very young, so we are hungry to win and prove ourselves. I think that will lead us into the ‘stepping up’ process. We aren’t focused on trying to fill the talent that we lost. We are focused on the team that we know we can be.”

Kaden Ford walking back to the dugout (Photo used with permission of Jack Bates)

To start the season on Monday night, the Tigers took on fourth ranked Manual. Senior Ian Milliner pitched a quality game and junior Matthew Harris got the save in a 4-3 upset win for St. X.

The home opener for the Tigers is tonight, March 20, against Lexington Catholic at 6 p.m. The Tigers look to build momentum that they can carry with them as they travel to Farragut High School in Tennessee on Saturday to face off against Farragut and Combine Academy from North Carolina.

St. X during a mound visit against Manual (Photo used with permission of Jack Bates)
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About the Contributor
Pete Hartlage
Pete Hartlage, Staff Writer

Pete is an avid Atlanta Braves and Louisville Cardinals fan. He is an above average golfer and a demon on the intermediate basketball court. He loves Harry Potter and Star Wars, but would chose Harry Potter if he had to pick between the two. Additionally, Pete is a reigning champion of the Xavier News Bracket Challenge.