By Quinn Keating
With Nantucket’s Baseball season soon coming to a close, the Nantucket varsity baseball team’s record stands at 1-10, their only win being that against Rising Tide, whom they beat 2-1. “We still have a lot to work on,” says Colin Lynch, starting third baseman, “Mainly hitting consistently and making fewer errors. We just need to keep building on the fundamentals that we already have to help get our team to where it needs to be.” The team lost their last game before Lynch gave this statement to St. John Paul ll 1-21, on the ninth of June. The team felt there was definitely some room for improvement. They were hoping for a win against Mashpee in their then-upcoming game on Monday, the 14th. They had not played this team yet this season, making them hopeful for a potential win.
In an interview with the Inquirer and Mirror about the game against Rising Tide, starting pitcher Orion Daily said, “We were so close the last time we played them, so I kind of felt like we were going to win this one.” Daily’s gut feeling was right. He pitched 15 strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings, effectively carrying the weight of the team on his shoulders. Nantucket won this game 2-1.
The team’s record may seem dismaying, but there are multiple factors that have contributed to this year’s losing streak. This season has been a challenge for the baseball team because, as a spring sport, they lost their last season to COVID, just as many other sports teams had. However, the avid players who were stuck at home and away from the field last year returned this year with enthusiasm and a wish to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, the lost year has taken a toll on the team, as reflected in their record, but they are optimistic about improving in the years to come.
An additional limiting factor to the team’s success this season has been that they have had to comply with the mask-mandate. The players felt the strain that playing while wearing masks places on team coordination and chemistry. They hope that as the restrictions lift, they will be able to see improvement.
The team has also played through injuries, one of whom was Garner Ray, a junior, who coaches have previously singled out as a star on the team. Another player who has been notably missing from this year’s lineup is James Mack, also a junior, who plays center field. They point out that without these key members playing in their games, it’s harder to score points, and they are proud of the younger players for trying as hard as they have been.
Though the team’s record is composed almost entirely of losses, the team’s progress can be noted in the nature of their defeats. The team’s games have been getting more competitive, as seen in a recent game against Monomoy, where Nantucket players managed to keep their opponents within 2 points of them. In 2022’s spring season, the baseball team will, hopefully, not have many of the challenges they have seen this year due to COVID-19. This season is over, but the team looks to the next season to usher in a fresh start, new players rising from the Junior Varsity team, and a chance to show the school, the island, and the world that they are not a team to be overlooked.