If teams keep battling, amazing things can happen.
For the Inglemoor High baseball team last season, the Vikings were the last team into the 4A KingCo playoffs, but they ended up piling on top of each other with a tournament crown in the end.
The state qualifiers have continued that momentum and secured a 4-1 league and 5-2 overall record this year at press time.
According to senior shortstop Sean Mulcare, last year’s Viks “just proved that we can beat anyone if we play our game, just focusing on ourselves, just trying to get better every day,” he said, noting that they’re doing the same this time out.
Added Sean Kauffman, senior center fielder, “I think we really proved that we were able to just work hard and achieve our goals. We’re just day to day and not looking ahead and not trying to look at the rankings,” he noted about the team’s game plan.
In a recent 2-1 win over Mount Si at home, Mulcare notched two RBIs and Kauffman supplied a single.
Junior right-handed starting pitcher Garrett Oremus said the team put in loads of offseason training and they’re in a good spot now that the KingCo season is in full swing. The Viks possess a solid pitching staff, Oremus added, noting that Kolby Solomon, Zach Hedge and Kellen Stull bring some strong arms to the scene.
“It’s been pretty cool to be a part of it,” Oremus said of the staff. On the team vibe as a whole, he added: “It’s really good, really positive. We have a lot to live up to and I think we’re gonna do a good job if we’re just working hard and playing our best baseball.”
Mulcare, Kauffman, Oremus and others cut their baseball teeth with head coach Craig Bishop in Little League and they’ve developed strong bonds over the years.
“It’s been a special group of guys, and so finishing the senior year with Bish and these guys, it’s just been cool to all grow together,” Kauffman said.
Mulcare likes what he sees on the pitching and offensive front, and aims to bring leadership to the diamond each day.
“I’ve been up here for awhile, and just play as hard as I can,” he said.
The Reporter asked the trio some questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Oremus: Be in the now, ‘cause a lot of bad things happen in baseball, a lot of good things happen in baseball. If you’re in the now all the time, that really has an advantage over a lot of players if you’re able to forget about what happened last at-bat, last inning and come out with your 100 percent every single time.
Kauffman: Trust your approach. That’s one that I learned in baseball, but it follows me into my daily life. Sticking true to what you know.
Mulcare: Try to have fun, it’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun. I feel like people play better when they’re loose and just having a good time.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Mulcare: Maybe Kobe Bryant, mamba mentality, just try to see what’s going on in his brain.
Kauffman: I’d probably go with Lebron (James). Gotta do it.
Oremus: Mariano Rivera. I’ve always looked up to him. I’ve read a book of his and he has a great story in how he went from nothing to everything, so it’s really inspired me, and his fastball command is amazing.