The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Swing Into the Season

A Sneak Peek at Team’s Upcoming Baseball Journey
David Wheeler
Coach Sucher tells his team the same message that he’s used for years. He believes this is what has led to their constant success over the teams history. “Our mantra is always the same: we are never good enough,” Sucher said.

After the baseball team’s defeat in the quarter-finals to Festus, the eventual champions, the Clayton team geared up to return to the state quarterfinals, smash previous records and clinch their first-ever championship title.

“Our mantra is always the same: we are never good enough, and that drives and fuels us to improve every day,” Coach Craig Sucher said.

Despite acknowledging the team’s success within their district, Sucher knows improvements are necessary.

“Our pitching staff is inexperienced; we don’t have a lot of guys who have logged a lot of innings at the varsity level compared to what we typically have,” Sucher said.

Sucher views the fresh roster as an opportunity for newcomers to step up, challenge themselves, and vie for valuable playing time.

Luke Baker enters his senior season where he’s helping guide the incoming players for future success. He’s found a new sense of leadership through his first few practices. “We’re all leaders on the baseball team, and we all have our jobs,” Baker said. (Camille Matlock)

“We’re all leaders on the baseball team, and we all have our jobs. Teamwork, community and having a good team atmosphere [will] ultimately lead to our success,” senior Luke Baker said.

Last year was Baker’s first time seeing this leadership in varsity and how much the team values each game.

“Every game is the biggest game of the year; we know we’re not good enough, so every opportunity is a time for us to learn about ourselves and the things that need to improve,” Sucher said.

Every game is the biggest game of the year.”

— Craig Sucher

Despite rivalries and potential close opponents, Sucher looks at all games as an opportunity to learn, regardless of the opponent. However, Baker still feels the rivalry game against Ladue holds special value.

“The Ladue game is always fun, especially since this year a lot of the seniors will be playing in it for the first time; it’s different from any other game I’ve played because there’s so many people that go to that game,” Baker said.

Baker acknowledges the importance of each game, but he notes a different intensity from the long-lasting Clayton and Ladue rivalry. On the other hand, sophomore Cole Craig focuses on a potential vengeance game against SLUH after last year’s narrow defeat.

“I went into SLUH last year thinking we were gonna get destroyed, but we only lost by three, so I think if we get another chance at them, I’d be excited to see what we can do,” Craig said.

Despite SLUH’s strong roster, CHS played very tight and knew they could win if the opportunity came up again.

“I agree with coach; all the regular season games are equally important, and when you treat every game like that, it makes the playoff games not feel as stressful,” Craig said.

Craig spent last season starting at Shortstop but is pushing to get some appearances on the varsity team. He hopes to eliminate mental mistakes to help reach his full potential.

“I think the JV coaches do a really good job of making sure everyone gets some reps, and because we practice with the varsity kids, I think that helps a lot in seeing something to look up to,” Craig said.

Sucher and Craig highlighted that combined practices help with player development.

“The JV team is designed to be the varsity team in the waiting, so when we practice, we practice as an entire program, so it’s the same experience for everyone,” Sucher said.

Sucher emphasized the JV team’s role as a varsity training ground and found that consistent training helps grow a sense of unity and importance for everyone. With multiple spots opening up on the varsity team, several JV players, including junior Micah Lotsoff, are eager to jump at the open spots.

“Over the offseason, I’ve seen a coach a couple of times a month, which has helped me stay in touch with the sport; I’ve just gotta try my best and hope my dedication pays off at this point,” Lotsoff said.

Lotsoff hopes his work in the off-season and during practices demonstrates his readiness to play at the varsity level. Regarding statistics, while many view the batting average as a key indicator, Lotsoff advocates for a broader perspective on performance.

Cole Craig practices relays in his first week of the second season. He used the lessons from last year to improve his play. “I’ve learned the importance of keeping your head up and looking forward to the next play,” Craig said. (Caitlin Gwydir)

“Performance can be measured through a variety of statistics, but in high school baseball, on-base percentage is by far the most important,” Lotsoff said.

While Lotsoff values on-base percentage and many statistics, his coach’s goals come from pitch by pitch, knowing that the little things will eventually lead to winning games.

“We want to win more than three innings, have greater than 15 quality at-bats and [have] a combination of walks and hit batters being less than five. We know that when we hit that trifecta, we are guaranteed to win,” Sucher said.

Sucher values stats like on-base percentage and quality at bats but knows at the end of the day, the final score is all that matters. The team hit all three categories previously mentioned in five games last year, all of which ended in Clayton winning.

“Coach always says if you focus on every single thing, you’ll win the at-bat, and if you win enough at-bats, you’ll win the inning, and if you win enough innings, you win the game,” Baker said.

Sucher will continue to remind his players about not getting ahead of themselves. He sent this message in one of their closest games of the season vs Ladue.

While the team could not record 15 quality at-bats in the game against Ladue, a testament to the skill of Ladue’s pitcher Will Moore, who has committed to play for Purdue University, their notable efforts came from pitching and fielding. The team held Ladue to five baserunners with only one error, and the team won more innings than Ladue in a 3-2 victory.

“Emphasizing the basic things of the game will always give [the team] a chance for success,” Sucher said.

Despite the departure of much of his roster from last season, Sucher remains committed to the philosophies that have shaped his team’s success over the past few years.

“The fact that we’ve won our district championship five of the last 10 years is significant for us and a mark of our sustained success,” Sucher said.

The fact that we’ve won our district championship five of the last 10 years is significant for us and a mark of our sustained success.”

— Craig Sucher




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Charlie Balestra
Charlie Balestra, Page Editor
Charlie Balestra is a sophomore in his second year on the Globe. He is constantly striving to write stories to the best of his ability. This school year, he is looking forward to publishing more breaking news stories, getting his drivers’ license, and hanging out with his friends more in general. Outside of the Globe, Charlie also participates in hockey and cross country. 
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