The Ballard Talisman

Baseball poised to make historic state run

Talented core instills confidence in team’s chances of winning championship

Junior+Jay+Dunbar+pitches+the+ball+in+baseball%E2%80%99s+game+against+Eastside+Catholic+on+March+26.+The+baseball+team+finished+the+season+with+a+16-4+record.+%28Julian+Whitworth%29
Junior Jay Dunbar pitches the ball in baseball’s game against Eastside Catholic on March 26. The baseball team finished the season with a 16-4 record. (Julian Whitworth)

Junior Jay Dunbar pitches the ball in baseball’s game against Eastside Catholic on March 26. The baseball team finished the season with a 16-4 record. (Julian Whitworth)

Junior Jay Dunbar pitches the ball in baseball’s game against Eastside Catholic on March 26. The baseball team finished the season with a 16-4 record. (Julian Whitworth)

Henry Jowaisas, Staff Reporter

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The last time Ballard Baseball went to the state championship was during the 2000-2001 season. This year’s team believes they can change that. With an abundance of talent on their roster and a dedicated coaching staff behind them, they are in the perfect position to make a run for state.
The baseball team finished the season with a 16-4 record. Senior Thomas Helean says the team has clear goals for their playoff run. “Going to state is obviously something that’s really important to everybody and we want to make sure that as a team we can achieve that,” Helean said.
This year, the team is looking to prove itself against the powerhouses of Metro League baseball. Senior Mason Hoover has played an important role on the team as they compete against these strong opponents. “We are really trying to win those big ball games against private schools like Eastside Catholic, O’Dea, Lakeside, all of them,” Hoover said. Ballard lost to O’Dea and Lakeside by a small margin but defeated other competitive teams like Ingraham and Eastside Catholic.
Even after graduating seven seniors, the team is confident in their new roster. “This year we have a big group of seniors and we are all really committed,” Hoover said.
Although eight seniors are returning this year, Helean doesn’t feel like there is too much pressure on them. “I don’t think there’s extra expectations at all,” Helean said. “Everybody knows their role on the team and everyone knows what they bring to the table.”
The stellar group of seniors is continually backed up by the talented juniors and one sophomore that make up the team. “We have bunch of good juniors and sophomores that can back us up if we’re not always on our game,” Hoover said.
A standout senior for the team this season has been John Graham, who is batting .320 and has 20 runs on the season. Graham contributes their success to their exceptional team chemistry. “We just have really good chemistry among our guys,” Graham said. “We know we are all out there playing for each other, which really gets us from a good team to a great team.”
Lukas Seely, the team’s other captain, factors in their coaching staff as a reason for their outstanding season. “The biggest thing in terms of our coaching staff is they recognized the potential that we had,” Seely said. “They made it clear we should know that.” Through their 20 games, Seely recorded 28 RBI’s and 25 runs.
With many big games coming up for Ballard in their race for state, it’s important for the team to stay focused on their goal. “We know that we are one of the most talented teams in metro and we know that if we reach our potential we can beat anyone in the state,” Graham said. “It’s really about knowing that and walking in with confidence.”
Although this year’s baseball team is one of the strongest in history, the players know that there is still more in store for them. “At this point, everything that we’ve done up until now doesn’t mean anything. 16-4, top ten ranking in state, none of that means anything,” Seely said. “Really what matters at this point is punching that ticket to State. We are really really close to something that we haven’t done in 15 years.”

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Baseball poised to make historic state run