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Fantastic five

There are many key ingredients to a successful team, no matter the sport.

One of the most important however, is leadership.

Fortunately for the Pike Liberal Arts 2010 baseball team, there is a lot.

Even though the Patriots’ season began a little more than a week ago, the team has already jumped out to a 6-0 record, with four of those wins coming by 10 or more runs.

While head coach Butch Austin has said the team has been the beneficiary of good pitching and strong hitting, he has also said there is something more that makes this team special – its five seniors:

Logan Stewart, Trey Walters, Ross Hixon, Justin McLaughlin and Will Starling.

“They mean everything to this team,” Austin said.

“I have had them for a long time and each of them have all developed into great ball players and great people.

“They are the ones that will hold us in the road the right way this season,” he added.

All five players have been on the Patriots’ varsity squad for at least three seasons forming an inseparable bound with one another.

They have shared the good times with the bad, but with this, their last season, they are determined to leave “no regrets” on the diamond.

“We want to go out with a bang,” Walters said Tuesday afternoon. “We don’t want to leave anything out there on the field when the season is over with.”

Walters wasn’t the only senior who felt that way.

“We have all been there, Hixon said. “We know how it feels to lose and we don’t want that to be the last memory we have together.”

While almost all the seniors play sports besides baseball (football and basketball in particular), they all said the diamond is the place the love being the most.

“Baseball just feels natural to all of us,” Walters said.

“Baseball is really a sport that brings people close, and that’s what happened with us,” Starling added.

Every senior class that comes through has had different expectations and goals to be met for their respective seasons and these five players are no different.

“We want to bring a positive, helpful attitude,” Starling said.

“We were all rookies on this team before, we know what it was like. That’s why we want to do all that we can to help out the younger players out – to help keep their heads up when they are down.”

But the main goal is the same every team has – win a championship.

“We want to win it all for sure,” McLaughlin said. “We have come so close the past couple of years.”

“But I think that has made us better, we are going to work hard this season – it’s our time.”

So far, so good this season but each of the players knows it takes a lot more to win a championship than the first six games.

“Everyone of us is a leader on this team,” Stewart said. “And we are all happy that we are able to be together for this season.”