Article by Christian Pierce
The King’s Knights baseball team began their regular season over spring break. They had an excellent trip to Vero Beach, Florida, scoring sixty-six runs, giving up only thirty-five runs and finishing the trip 6-0. When the Knights returned home, they went on to win two more games, recently losing to Springboro and Loveland. The Knights now are 8-2.
After the Knights Florida trip came to an end, they found out some big news. Maxpreps ranks the King’s Knights Baseball team number one in the state of Ohio.
Coach Kevin McClung sat down with the Knight Times to share his thoughts about the expectations for his team.
To McClung the Florida trip, was a success. Finishing the trip 6-0 was the icing on the cake. “It’s a great trip from the standpoint of just getting a lot of work in, getting to play different teams, and then seeing the guys have fun and gel together as a team.”
When it comes to the Knights being number one in the rankings McClung understands and realizes it is still early in the season.
“Those rankings don’t mean anything right now. We’ve got some talent. We’ve got guys that are playing well together. I have high expectations for this team.”
The rankings are the least of McClung’s worries.
If we’re taking care of the baseball and we’re swinging hot bats right now and we continue to those things I expect big things from these guys.”
When it comes to the postseason, McClung has confidence in his team, but realizes any game is up for grabs in the postseason. When it comes to sectionals and districts it is extremely competitive and baseball is a crazy game where anybody can beat anybody on any given day. My expectations are high and I think the guys expect to be in a situation to compete for a league title and compete for a sectional and district championships. I’m gonna set the bar high and I think they are setting the bar high so anything can happen.”
The biggest strengths of the Knights, according to McClung, include balance, the depth of the lineup, the depth of the pitching staff from the starters to the bullpen, and starters who could be bullpen guys in times of need.
“If we can respond to adversity, that is a sign of a great team. The tell-tale sign of our season is how we respond to a slump or something not going our way.”
Senior Trey McKiernan told the Knight Times what the start to this season has been like and what his expectations are. McKiernan felt awesome about the team’s undefeated trip.
“We went 6-0 It boosted a lot of our confidence up and we were hitting the ball well.”
The Knights make this annual trip down to Florida each year. This year was one of the most successful years in the sunshine state. Trey isn’t sure about his team living up to their ranking.
“I’m not sure about that, just stay humble the rankings don’t mean anything. “We just got to play our game out there.”
Early in the season, this team has shown they have what it takes to win. Can they make it far in the postseason? McKiernan feels confident that they can.
“I expect us to go pretty far. I have a lot of confidence in my teammates and coaches. I feel like as long as we keep our head in the game we can do our thing.”
When it comes to strengths one is pretty clear on the stat sheets. The Knight have scored one hundred and nine runs in their first nine games. Their bats are hot right now.
Playing baseball in the sunshine state is a whole new world for a baseball team from Ohio.
“It’s pretty awesome. A lot of nice weather out there, a lot better than Ohio at least. It’s just pretty cool,” McKiernan said.
Senior Josh Gleberman also spoke about what it was like to get the season off to an undefeated start in Florida.
“Last year we fell short of that we felt like we had the potential to. To be able to that this year felt good, it was well worth the trip.”
When it comes to the postseason, Gleberman has confidence. “Our team has amazing potential. I think our team can honestly go as far as we want if we all play as hard as we can. We all would love a shot at the state championship.”
Gleberman does believe this team can live up to its number one ranking in Ohio.
When it comes to this team’s biggest strength it is “team chemistry.”
“We all play really well together. We all trust each other out on the field and the fact that all of us have great work ethic wouldn’t say anyone is a slacker on the team. We all put in the work and we all know it.”
This will be their last season in a the Red, White, and Baby Blue for these two seniors.
For McKiernan baseball season is a time to hang around with his friends, play the game that he loves, and win games.
Gleberman has loved baseball since he was little. It is his favorite time of the year. Everyday, whether it’s a game or a practice, he enjoys all of it.
“I can say without a doubt that Kings Baseball is the best team I have ever played for. I love Kings Baseball, the coaches, and all of my teammates.”