BALTIMORE — As the sun sets at Baltimore City College, the hard work is just getting started. Dozens of students take to the baseball diamond, showing of their skills for the last day of team try outs.
But one student stands out for a different reason. Freshman Shaniya Murray is the first girl to try out, the coach thinks in the history of the school, but definitely since he started coaching in 2001. She says it was intimidating at first, but this has been her passion since she was 7-years-old.
“When I get on the bases, it’s like a whole other person,” Murray said. “I’ve been working hard since November, ever since I was 7-years-old, I’ve been working hard even to try out, so it means a lot to impress the my mother, impress my family. It would mean lot to make the baseball team.”
A feeling echoed by all of the students, but this year, it’s stiff competition. 40 of them are vying for the 20 to 25 spots on the varsity team. The rest have to be cut because there’s no JV team.
“You got this potentially talented baseball player, you never know what they could grow up to be, might just go and give up because they didn’t make the team. It kind of sucks. It’s a disappointment to see,” senior return player Eliot Holcomb said.
“A JV team would have been beneficial for everyone especially this year because we have 40 people trying out and it’s a talented group as well so there are a lot of good players who are going to get cut,” senior Pablo Espejo-Saavedra said.
“I’ve been cut before so I knew that a lot of people were going to get the disappointment of getting cut,” senior Rowan Pocock said. “I wish we had a JV team now because it kind of like robs those people of the experience of playing on a team.”
“I am proud that they all came out and put it all on the field and really tried hard,” head coach Mark Miazga said.
Miazga wishes it wasn’t this way.
“When I was in high school I was cut when I was sophomore trying out for varsity baseball and it’s still one of those memories that I kind of think about sometimes when it’s this time of the year,” Miazga said.
He even tried to start a JV team 10 years ago, but it didn’t work because of a lack of resources, space, staff, or other teams to play.
“We had a practice on the other side of the field and what we found was there just wasn’t enough space and enough teams to play,” Miazga said.
He doesn’t know of any other city schools with JV teams either, though he says others have also tried to start programs. Returning seniors say it’s a shame there isn’t more interest in the sport across the city because it’s brought so much into their lives.
“Being on a team, you’re always relying on the people around you so that’s the best way to build comradery and definitely make friends. I’ve known these people for 4 years and they are definitely some of my closest friends and all that is because I tried out for baseball,” Pocock said.
Murray says it would mean everything to her to make the cut, but it not, she’ll be back.
“I’m never giving up. There’s always going to be next year,” Murray said.
Because of the amount of jerseys and taking into account practice time, Miazga says the maximum amount of players they can have is 25. The students find out Wednesday at school if they made the team.