EHHS Hornets varsity baseball learning to stay positive

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., May. 27, 2011
Alan Schiff throws a ball during practice at EHHS. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Alan Schiff throws a ball during practice at EHHS. Photos by Frances Taylor.

It’s a practice session on the field on the day before a late-season double-header, and East Hartford High School baseball coach Mike McDermott gives the team a pep talk. “We've got a long double tomorrow and you've got to be sharp throughout,” McDermott said. “Let's compete!”

It’s been an up-and-down season for the varsity baseball team, with players not hitting the ball and injuries that have left them without the depth in pitching that the coach expected to have. “We're not hitting the ball enough times when we are up at bat, one of our pitchers has been injured all year,” McDermott said. “On the bright side, we have Alan Schiff, who is doing a very nice job of pitching for us, and Joel Roman, our starting shortstop, has been batting well all season, and is one of our best all-around players.”

The team has also been plagued by a rainy baseball season, which has kept them off the field for practice, and also by something else.

“We seem to have a problem with giving up after a bad inning,” McDermott said. “We're having a hard time to bounce back and keep fighting back. You can win if you know how to fight back.”

McDermott said the team has already qualified for the tournament, with a chance to succeed. “We could do well enough to play the top teams,” he said.

Meanwhile, McDermott will continue to try to instill in his players the “mental toughness” that he feels they need. “I think a lot of them have never really experienced failure before, and they are not prepared for it,” he said. “Everyone makes mistakes - it’s how you bounce back from those mistakes, and you need mental toughness in order to do that.”


Coaches Corner –

East Hartford High School Varsity Baseball Coach Mike McDermott.

15th season with the team.

“We're having a hard time bouncing back and fighting back,” he said. “You can win if you know how to come back.”


Spotlight Players: Players to Watch-

Joel Roman – Captain, Junior, Shortstop and Catcher: “I think we started off strong, but then kind of went into a slump,” he said. “We're playing decently right now and I hope we can keep that up. They tend to give up fast and not have hope. I just try to battle back and keep the team up.”


Alan Schiff - Junior, Third Base and Pitcher: “Sometimes, after a bad inning, we just couldn't follow up,” he said. “Whether we're hitting well or not, we need to keep a positive attitude. But I think there is still a chance for us in the tournament.”

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