By Mike Beas
In baseball parlance, a positive spin usually refers to a pitcher finding a way to add movement to a sinker or curveball.
Plainfield senior Carter Knoll produces strikes differently.
The Quakers’ first baseman, a varsity starter since approximately one-third of the way through his freshman season, uses his optimistic nature to influence teammates while also producing defensively and at the plate.
Plainfield held a 13-9 record at the end of last week, including a 5-foot7-inch mark against Mid-State Conference competition; Knoll, the team’s cleanup hitter, led the Quakers in batting average (.409), hits (27), home runs (four) and RBIs (23).
“Carter is probably one of the best hitters to come through Plainfield. Had we had a season last year, he probably would be the record-holder for hits here,” said Plainfield coach Shane Abrell. “I think he made himself a good hitter with his work ethic.
“He’s also a good leader. In the past, Carter has led more by example, but this season he’s been more vocal. Countless times I’ve seen him go talk to a teammate or put his arm around him. Carter is rare, and it’s genuine. I don’t ever think there’s ever been a moment he’s not smiling.”
Knoll excels academically with a 4.3 grade point average that ranks him 64th in a class of 416 students academically. He plans to attend the University of Indianapolis where he’ll play baseball for the Greyhounds and major in human biology.
Knoll did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: What do you remember about playing your first varsity game at Northview High School in 2018?
A: I really was not expecting to play. As soon as they put me in, I was a little nervous. I was at third base, and all three outs were hit directly at me. I calmed down after that. It seems like yesterday with how these four years have gone.
Q: You were a third baseman early in your career and are now at first base. Is it a difficult transition?
A: For me, it’s pretty routine because I’ve done it my whole life. Playing third base is a much faster pace, and playing at first, to me, is like being the second captain on the field after the catcher. I like first base a little bit more and being able to make plays on hits that might not be directed toward me.
Q: With COVID-19 taking away the 2020 season after all spring sports were canceled, how much are you enjoying playing this season?
A: It’s been the most fun season I’ve had. [We] have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this season. It’s such a blessing to be able to play.