by Aaron Reiss
Eagle Editorial Board
“How about it, three-two?”
“Let’s get one right here, kid!”
Such are the cheers heard from the Eagle baseball dugout.
For the Eagles, what goes on inside the diamond is only half of the game. The team’s chants and superstitions have their role in baseball in a separate but parallel manner.
“It’s really easy for high school baseball to get boring,” senior infielder Blake Moss said. “Having support from your bench is huge when you’re at the plate or defensively. And it’s not as quiet out there.”
And the Eagles support their teammates in a variety of ways, some of which are more involved than others. There are the typical chants of “let’s go” and “your pitch.” Other antics are more involved.
Last year, led by senior pitchers Josh Podlin and Dusty Dworak, the Eagles created faux-sniper guns out of bats and Gatorade bottle caps. The Eagles pretend to shoot at the opposing pitcher while he is on the mound.
“Me and Dusty started it midway through last year,” Podlin said. “We saw it on a picture of some college guys doing it on Facebook. We just decided we wanted to do it.”
The “sniping” is Moss’ favorite thing about the Eagles’ dugout.
“It seems like whenever we do it, it actually works,” Moss said. “It’s an advantage I guess. I don’t know; it’s weird. It rattles [the pitcher] a little bit.”
And when something is effective for the Eagles, it sticks.
During senior shortstop Justin Sebo’s sophomore year on varsity, in a game against St. Pius X, pitcher Luca Mariotta, ‘11, started a cheer by having the whole team pound bars of the dugout in unison, finishing with the dugout chanting in a short, booming “Se-bo!”
“It was big part in the game and I got a hit, and they kept doing it,” Sebo said. “Tradition lives on I guess.”
Another tradition, or superstition, started when senior second baseman Cavan Biggio felt sick before a game his sophomore year. Dworak offered his teammate some Skittles, and now the Eagles distribute the fruity candy amongst themselves before every game.
“But we don’t eat the orange ones,” Dworak said. “They’re bad luck.”
Though there is no proven direct link between pre-game routines and on-field success, the Eagles believe their antics and team camaraderie in the dugout have had an effect on their success this season.
As of April 22, the Eagles are 23-6.With their win against Beaumont Kelly on Tuesday, April 16, they captured the TAPPS 3-5A championship – their first district title under head coach Craig Biggio.
Biggio is leading the Eagles in batting average (.425) and RBIs (32), while junior pitcher Michael Rodgers has tallied over 47 innings, and holds an ERA of 4.72.
“If anything it has a positive influence on our play and stuff,” Podlin said. “It let’s the other guys know we are pulling for them.”