Loving ready for chance to shine in state title series

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On most teams, the clean-up hitter is full of personality and likes to be the center of attention.

But Pike Liberal’s Myles Loving isn’t worried about being the center of attention. All he wants to do is win.

Loving is the quiet man in the top half of the Patriots lineup. The vocal leaders of the team, Chan Avant, Rush Hixon and Brian Adams, all bat ahead of him, and set the table for Loving to drive in runs.

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“I just want to help the team win,” Loving said. “Yea, I like to hit homers, who doesn’t? But sometimes singles get the job done. I know the guys ahead of me are going to do their job, so it is up to me to do mine.”

Loving is batting .330 on the season and has driven in 38 runs during his senior campaign. While Loving is more than capable to get the job done with the stick, it is his defensive work that has drawn the most praise from head coach Butch Austin.

Loving played nearly every game of the year at first base, but when the playoffs arrived, he moved to right field in order to get more productive bats in the lineup.

He took the move in stride.

“I don’t care where I play,” Loving said. “I know why Coach made the change and I’m more than OK with it. I started in the outfield my 10th grade year, so it’s not that big of a change. I just want to win.”

Austin said Loving has been one of the biggest contributors this season.

“You look at who brought us to this point, and Myles is near the top of that list,” Austin said. “He does whatever he has to help the other boys. He and guys like Brain and Chandler, are the reason we are here. They aren’t selfish.”

Loving was a part of the 2012 AISA champion team, and has longed to get back to the title series. He gets his chance on Wednesday.

“You work your but off all season long to get the chance to play on that great field up there,” said Loving. “We have all worked hard to get back there. It is our chance to win it again. We deserve it, and Coach Austin deserves it most.”