Maryvale needs a big season from Kaelin
Kaelin put on a show on the season-opener, collecting 15 strikeouts and out dueling East Aurora standout Ian Allen in a 3-1 Maryvale win.
"It was fun," Kaelin said. "Going against Ian Allen, he's a great pitcher. We both had a lot of strikeouts and it was an entertaining game."
Through the years, whether it’s in baseball or soccer, Kaelin has shown the ability to get the job done when his team needs it the most. So facing one of the best pitchers around just drove Kaelin’s game even higher.
"It was a great pitcher's duel," Maryvale coach Kirk Hansen said. "It was a great game for both pitchers and Mike really came through for us."
Maryvale has come to expect that out of Kaelin. He was a first-team ECIC-III all-star last season after posting a 3-2 record with a 2.44 ERA and 56 strikeouts. At the plate, he hit a team-best .426 with 15 RBIs after batting .429 as a sophomore. He was also a standout on the soccer field, earning ECIC-III second team honors as a defenseman in the fall.
On the baseball diamond this season, he's taken on even more of a leadership role. His top priority is helping Maryvale turn things around after a subpar 2011.
So far, that's been a success as well. After winning just five times all of last year, the Flyers won both of their games before Spring Break.
"It's a good feeling," Kaelin said. "We're young but we have a lot of experience. We know what we've got to do, we just have to come out every day and do it."
And a lot of the growing pains of the young squad last year appear to be a thing of the past. Early on, Maryvale has looked like a force to be reckoned with.
"It's sure a better feeling being 2-0 than 0-2," Hansen said with a laugh. "They were young last year, but they really played hard and I think that's showing this year because we're looking strong."
Maryvale has kept busy over the break with some non-league challenges on the schedule. The Flyers hope that’ll pay off when they get back to business in the ECIC-III with an early showdown against rival Depew.
“We’re just going to keep working hard, get some kinks out, and hopefully be ready for Depew,” Kaelin said.