Sophomore Garrin Rose stood on the pitcher’s mound at the top of the first inning. He had two outs, but freshman David Stokarski was on second base.
Freshman Spencer Hamilton stepped up to bat. Rose’s first two pitches went into the dirt. As he wound up for his third pitch to Hamilton, he was determined not to let Hamilton walk to first base. Rose knew he had to throw a fastball.
Unfortunately for Rose, Hamilton knew it, too. The ball sailed over the centerfield fence. In that moment, Hamilton knew that Rose would never live this down.
Many consider Hamilton’s home run the pinnacle of the PHC Baseball Club’s intrasquad game on that windy Sunday in March. The game attracted 20 players, all PHC students or alumni. The game ended 17 – 12, with the white team beating the navy.
Club members met on the BHC steps early Sunday afternoon to drive to Robinson Park in Leesburg, where they warmed up for an hour before the game began at 3 p.m. It ended a little after 6 p.m., so most of the club members grabbed dinner at Five Guys before returning to campus around 8 p.m.
“For a lot of us, it is the first time we played in two or three years, so it was really fun to be out there. It’s a really good group of guys,” said junior Loren Campbell, captain of the baseball club.
The intrasquad game served as a scrimmage for the baseball club. It gave the players an opportunity to work together in a game setting before the club’s first intercollegiate game.
“The atmosphere is fantastic. You get to be with all your friends,” Hamilton said. “Baseball’s always like that because you’re in the dugout with your teammates.”
“If we were to really commit here and really get a culture of commitment, I think that can really get people to buy in, and we can start playing at a high level,” Campbell said.
A unique challenge for the baseball club has been the fact that it is co-ed. Hannah Bruck, a sophomore, joined the club last fall, but Campbell is unable to field her for games because of the policies of opposing teams. Campbell and Hamilton have been working with Bruck to teach her to track the performance of players during games. In baseball, this is known as keeping stats.
“[Looking at the statistics] can really help me determine who should be playing what position and things of that sort and how best to make us competitive,” Campbell explained.
Bruck estimates that she met with Hamilton and Campbell three times before the scrimmage to learn how to keep stats. Hamilton and Bruck also meet after games to go over the stats Bruck wrote and analyze plays.
“She’s really fun to have on the team,” Hamilton said.
Bruck plans to travel to each game to fulfill her role as scorekeeper and help any way she can, possibly by bringing a first-aid kit and Capri Suns to the next game.
Campbell is pleased with the direction the baseball club. He hopes that the club will begin consistently winning games against other schools and develop a reputation for highly skilled performances.
“I don’t know how good Williamson and Christendom are, but I am just looking at our team, and knowing what I know about baseball, I think we can [start beating them consistently] soon,” Campbell said.
Williamson is two and a half hours away from PHC, so Campbell does not expect a large audience. Instead, he encouraged PHC fans to make the 45-minute drive to Christendom on April 3.
This article was originally published in PHC's student-run newspaper, The Herald.