By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Just as the fun was just beginning, the end is approaching for Blanchet Catholic senior Spencer Kowalski. Knowing this has already been a fun start to the year and is excited for what could be ahead following their historic season last Spring, he’ll be sad once that final out is made in his final game this year.
“It’s bittersweet, this is probably the most fun I’ve had playing baseball at Blanchet, I’m looking to play somewhere next year, I’m talking to a few schools. But I’m excited for my season with my team, we got a great group of guys. It’ll be sad when it’s over,” Kowalski said.
For Kowalski, he’ll be the lone senior on the squad this Spring, leaving the bulk of the already returning roster from their 3A State Semifinalist to come back going into next year following his departure. But for now, he’s looking to leave his mark. Having played with the Moundtime Baseball Club over the Summer and working on his craft around football season in preparations for the final push and beyond.
The squad came close to that final game last season in their historic season, falling just short in the 3A State Semifinals in extra innings to Santiam Christian. Graduating some big pieces in Hunter Archer, Sam Schindler and Luke Holland, they return a great core in athletes like Kowalski, Drew Bartels and Carson McNally, the Blanchet Catholic baseball team are primed and ready to be that dark horse in 2A/1A this Spring. A tough classification that was won by juggernaut Kennedy this past Spring, but the Cavaliers are in a tough conference with Regis and Monroe that will help the Salem squad in their hopes of another deep playoff run this year.
“We just had a lot of confidence after last year. We have a lot of people here really passionate about the game of baseball, I think we all had a really productive offseason. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time on baseball,” Kowalski starts. “(Monroe, Kennedy and Regis) are really good teams and we’re going to try to get better everyday. One-percent better every day, build up and peak at the right time.It’ll be huge for us and not to get too far ahead of ourselves and not get cocky. Appreciate the grind, getting better every day.”
The practicing grind continues with their first game of the season on the horizon as they’ll host 4A Cascade March 17 before kicking off league March 20 at Central Linn to open their three-game series with the Cobras.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald