EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville senior baseball pitcher/infielder Spencer Stearns enjoyed a successful 2021 season, although abbreviated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, hitting .384 with a team-leading five home runs and 43 RBIs in helping the Tigers to a 34-4 record last year.
As the season unfolds for the 2022 campaign, Stearns feels confident that the Tigers will have another successful season.
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Spencer is an iCAN Clinic Male Athlete of the Month for EHS.
"I'm feeling good," Stearns said during an interview conducted recently during a scrimmage on the Tigers' junior varsity field. "It's like the team's coming together well. I wasn't sure how everyone, because we've got a lot of kids from a lot of different classes, so I wasn't sure how they were going to work together, but we've come together and we're looking better each day."
Stearns is hoping to take a similar role this season as he had during 2021.
"I'm hoping to be a similar role as last year," Stearns said, "core infielder and power hitter, hopefully, try to beat my RBIs from last year, just improve my stats and then hopefully, we can have some underclassmen fill in the spots of the seniors that left last year."
Stearns and the Tigers did have a very good season, even with the difficulties caused by the pandemic and the abbreviated season, and he feels that having a normal season, with more time off between games, will be very beneficial to the club.
"Last year was very compressed," Stearns said. "It was hard, because we had a lot of guys dealing with injuries from playing a game every day or every other day. So I think having some time between games is really going to help our performance this year."
Stearns is also looking forward to a back-to-normal season, as there will be more time off between games, which will help everyone's performance.
"Loving it," Stearns said. "Because last year, especially with pitching, we didn't get a lot of bullpens. It was kind of pitching game-to-game, with off-days in between, so it's nice getting extended and get more practice, reps. so we're ready to play."
Stearns is also loving how the club is coming together and feels the chemistry is right. He thinks that the Tigers' prospects are looking very good for the upcoming year.
"I'd say our prospects are good," Stearns said. "We've got a lot of guys who can do a lot of great things. I think we are a very well-rounded team, we can hit, we've got a lot of good pitching this year, so I think it's going to be good."
As far as goals for the Tigers, Stearns knows what he feels the club needs to do.
"I think we've got to beat O'Fallon, and we've got to make it, hopefully, to make it to at least sectionals this year," Stearns said. "We fell short last year in a heartbreaking loss, so we've got to get past there."
As far as Stearns himself goes, he's keeping it easy and simple.
"Be better each day," Stearns said, "better than last year."