TEXARKANA, Texas — A baseball player's life without playing is like being separated from a best friend.
Pleasant Grove standout pitcher/first baseman Tucker Anderson is eager to resume the postponed season and get back together with the team.
"At first I was really upset that the season was postponed," Anderson said. "I saw my team and felt like our chances were better than ever to go far. I was upset for the seniors in that they might not get to play again. I am hopeful that we will get to continue and am optimistic about it."
One of the most pressing jobs in baseball is pitching. Anderson is an ace for the Hawks and is a starting right-hander who saw many innings of work before the season came to a halt.
"The hardest thing about pitching is dealing with frustration that comes after giving up a run, especially if it was because I missed a spot," Anderson said. "I hate to feel like I let my team down."
Pleasant Grove head coach Riley Fincher is in his sixth year at the helm. Fincher has been a role model for Anderson.
"Coach Fincher makes baseball my favorite thing," Anderson said. "He makes me like the atmosphere and brings fun to practice. At the same time, he makes it feel like we are there for a reason. Coach works hard to make our lives better and is a great mentor.
"I love the traditions of baseball. It really is America's pastime. Even though it is slow, it makes me think fast. I have to think about what I am going to do. There is a lot of skill involved in baseball."
Anderson, who is in his junior year, has been hitting in his private batting cage at his home. His father pitches to him. Anderson also throws bullpen to his younger brother. The Hawks' ace pitcher runs to keep in shape.
"I learned to respond in a positive way after I make a mistake," Anderson said. "Fincher has taught me many things. He taught me how to learn from failure, to overcome it and to accept it. Baseball is a game of adversity."
Noah Syndergaard is Anderson's favorite baseball player. Anderson appreciates how hard Syndergaard can throw. He likes that Syndergaard grows his hair long and that he seems like a cool guy.
"I love to hit, but I feel in control when I pitch," Anderson said. "I feel like I am more involved when I pitch. I would like to play college ball. I don't know where that is going to take me, but coach works hard to give all of us that opportunity. Every kid dreams of playing pro, so if the Lord is willing then I would love to do that. I enjoy baseball and it's fun."