Baseball team prepares for season opener


Senior TJ Hutnan practices his pitching during the preseason earlier this year

On April 28, Annandale Baseball will finally return as the boys suit up for their first matchup against Woodson. 

It is safe to say that this upcoming game is long awaited as a lengthy preseason had taken place between Feb. to March along with a number of scrimmages. 

In addition, practice for the season opener was aided with many other practices through the format of green days, which have taken place throughout the school year. 

Since the school year began, the baseball team participated in a short season beginning in August under the team name ‘Annandale Isotopes’.

The brief period for tryouts in early April, greatly helped coaches to solidify their rosters and make choices as to where they should place incoming freshmen and new players. 

Overall, baseball has a total of 12 regular season games before the District Quarterfinals on June 5. The entire regular season will span just under a month for those 12 scheduled games.

Changes in mask rules during games have not been further implemented despite the increase of a vaccinated population, especially within the Annandale community. 

Furthermore, social distancing rules will still apply to athletes within competition.

“Basically, wearing a mask is a strict rule to keep the team and the community safe. The Isotopes’ season in the fall was a lot more laid back because we did not really know the effects of COVID well,” senior and varsity fielder TJ Hutnan said. 

             There are other positive effects of the season being pushed back besides the extra time used for more practices and scrimmages to create a more prepared team.  

“I like starting the season a little later because it’s warmer in comparison to starting and playing games in the snow, but I still would have liked to play more this year. I’m definitely sad with it being my last year, but now I’m getting a chance to hang out with players I have known since my freshman year as well as assist with the improvement of new players on the team,” Hutnan said.

Since the season has been made shorter under the VHSL season schedule, varsity coach Christopher Bagot has emphasized the importance of productive practice between games during the regular season. 

Most of these games during the regular season are only a few days apart, so a proper recovery between games will be essential. 

As for the varsity squad, all players are either juniors or seniors, meaning that the team has multiple years of experience on the field with each other. 

Coach Bagot has seen this and is excited for the success that the team will have this short season. 

“I am excited for the season, this will be the most talented team I have been the head coach of in my 5 years,” Bagot said. 

Freshman Colin McGee, a player on the junior varsity team, has expressed his excitement for this upcoming season, which will be his second with the atoms this school year. 

“We are grateful for the season we have, but a shorter season impacts pitchers and hitters because they have less time to get a normal amount of reps in compared to a regular season.” McGee said.

Along with the varsity team, the junior varsity team is hopeful for a successful season as it has stood strong throughout many stages of preparation. 

“We have lots of potential this year with a powerful roster, and with our strong mentality, we are looking to do some damage,” McGee said

Since this season is so short, coach Bagot has asserted a strong mentality to play as well as possible during the shortened season.  

“It will turn the highschool baseball season into a real sprint to the finish.  We are going to focus on what we can do now and try to stay in the moment…we can’t look ahead or behind,” Bagot said. 

Considering his experienced team, Bagot envisions what constitutes a successful season this year.  

“This year, we are hoping the team gives out beatings on our way to a district championship.  We had the best off season we ever had, we are going to keep our minds on what we can control now and have a season filled with great experiences,” said Bagot.