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Catcher plays key role in team’s success

Maddie Lee

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A pitcher and a catcher must have a close connection in order for the baseball team to do well in games, and pitcher Luke Trail and catcher Carter Spradling, both seniors, have just that.
“I would say Carter is one of the best catchers I’ve ever worked with,” Trail said. “We are always together. Even if we aren’t playing, we are side by side in the dugout.”
Trail and Spradling have played together since they started the baseball program their freshman year and they have both been playing the sport since they were each about 5 years old. They are both members of the varsity baseball team.
“[Luke] has really good command of his fastball and has a good curve-ball,” Spradling said. “He can locate both pitches, get them to hit their spots. If you can’t hit the spots, you can’t pitch.”
One of Spradling’s biggest jobs as catcher is to keep the pitcher calm during games while they’re on the mound, and that includes Trail.
“Communication is a big thing,” Spradling said. “Just talking and seeing how they’re feeling that day, what pitches are working that day. I use my hands to tell them to calm down. If they start to get into their head they are going to start getting wild.”
Pitchers and catchers communicate through hand signals throughout most of the game; some signs include holding up a certain number of fingers, bringing both hands up and down. To a pitcher and catcher, that communication is essential in order to have success.
“When you have someone who has the same mindset as you, who understands the game, that makes the game a whole lot easier,” Trail said. “The pitcher and catcher are always talking indirectly through signs, so if they understand the game it makes it a whole lot easier and the results show. “
While the varsity team has only one catcher, baseball requires a rotation of pitchers so that one pitcher does not get too tired or hurt. Sophomore Benjamin Prywitch is one of the varsity pitchers along with Trail.
“[Carter] acts like a leader; he makes sure that everyone’s in the game,” Prywitch said. “He can calm me down if I get mad, he can slow the game down.”
A catcher plays a vital role in a pitcher’s game; someone who can keep the pitcher in the right head-space, who can control the game to help out the team, and someone who can manage each play.
“You get the ball every single play,” Spradling said. “You’re like the captain, you’re a leader on the field. Plays stop and end with you.”

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Catcher plays key role in team’s success