By: Bill Hartlep
Saturday, April 9, 2022 | 9:40 PM
Report card: Junior first baseman Deiseroth hit three home runs and had five RBIs in Highlands’ 12-2 victory over Freeport in a Section 1-4A game April 4. It was part of a five-homer outburst for the Golden Rams in the section opener at Freeport Community Park.
Highlands is trying to build off a trip to the WPIAL championship game and PIAA semifinals last season, when the Golden Rams finished 18-6-1. Deiseroth, one of seven returning starters, was a first-team Valley News Dispatch all-star last season after hitting .433 with seven home runs, 38 RBIs and 29 runs scored.
Have you ever hit three home runs in a game before?
I have never hit three home runs in a game. I’ve had two in a game. It was good because our first few nonsection games I didn’t do very well. I was struggling. Getting that feeling of hitting the ball again felt good.
How has the team played to start the season?
We had a little bit of a bumpy start. It was just the fact that we haven’t been on the field with the rain. We had high confidence against Freeport. That’s what we needed to get a boost.
What do you expect from the team this season after reaching the WPIAL title game and PIAA semifinals last year?
I think we’ll do as good as we did last year. As long as we work together, I think we got it.
Which do you prefer, first base or pitcher?
Definitely, first base. I’m just our backup pitcher.
Do you have a favorite softball chant in the dugout?
We kind of all do our own thing. I think that’s good. It’s nice hearing a little bit from everybody.
Who is the funniest player of the team?
I would probably say Jess Cekada is the funniest player on the team. I think no matter what mood you are in, she’s always there to make you feel better and always has something funny to say.
Are you involved in any other activities at Highlands?
PBIS, a club to try and help improve and have more fundraisers as a school.
Have you made any college plans yet?
I’ve been looking into Slippery Rock. I think I want to major in public relations.
How did you get started in softball?
When I was younger, my mom signed me up for T-ball. I ended up proceeding with softball. I ended up really loving it.
What will the Pirates record be this season?
I feel like they will be right in the middle, around .500.
How would you characterize your role on this team?
I think I’m a big part because first base concludes most of the plays. I’m just myself. I’m always there for everybody. I think I have a pretty positive impact on the team.
What was it like last year to make the postseason run?
It was honestly amazing. We were definitely the underdogs, and a lot other teams doubted us. Us doing our own thing and avoiding negative comments really showed people anyone can do anything, no matter who you are.
Report card: Starting pitcher Schrock went 5 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks in helping Valley’s baseball team secure a 1-0 win over Burrell on Friday. Earlier in the week, Schrock was 1 for 1 with a walk in a 13-1 loss to Derry and also went 2 for 4 with three RBIs in a 7-5 loss to the Trojans on Tuesday.
How did the team play against Burrell?
I think (Friday) we left it all on the field. We didn’t really bring the bats, but sometimes you don’t need that, like we showed (Friday). We only had a couple hits but still came through.
What were you doing well on the mound?
I threw strikes. My junk wasn’t working (Friday), so I had to rely on my fastball a lot more. I had to paint corners, work around the batters, and I relied on my outfielders a bit as well.
Do you have a go-to strikeout pitch?
Honestly, I don’t. I just throw what coach tells me to.
Are there any pitchers you try to model your game after?
I don’t follow Major League Baseball. I just play.
Where do you play when you aren’t pitching?
I play first base, sometimes outfield.
What are your goals for the team and individually this season?
As a team, win section. That’s No. 1. Winning playoffs and a championship would be amazing. And then, individually just to make an overall positive impact on my team by the end of the year.
Are you involved in any other activities at Valley?
I have one of the lead roles in the upcoming musical, “Newsies.”
What do you like to do outside of baseball and school?
I like to practice driving. I have my permit right now. I can get my license in May. I like to hang out with my friends. I love to eat. I don’t really watch much TV. I’ll play video games from time to time.
What do you think the Pirates record will be this season?
I don’t think they’ll do that well this year. Maybe a miracle will happen.
Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.