Tri-West senior hoped to make impact during baseball season
By Mike Beas
The baseball season Blake Saylor anticipated was over before it started.
Saylor, a Tri-West senior who figured to play some first base after sitting out all of last season following elbow surgery, won’t get the chance to make an impact. The spring sports season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving Saylor and his teammates wondering what might have been.
His injury occurred prior to the 2018 football season during a scrimmage at Franklin High School, now coached by former Bruins receiver and eventual head coach Chris Coll. However, Saylor, a defensive end, continued to play and didn’t have surgery until after the season.
He finished with 54 tackles as a junior and 51 this past season. His good fortune refused to extend into the spring season.
“Blake would have been a spot starter defensively and maybe our designated hitter,” said Tri-West baseball coach Ryan Oppy. “After the 2018 football season, he had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Blake was a vocal leader for us to keep everybody positive and engaged.”
Saylor participated in a Q&A with the ICON:
Q: How disappointed were you when you found out your senior baseball season was cancelled?
A: I was pretty devastated. Going into my last sporting season, I was hoping to technically start my varsity career my senior season. I dressed for sectional my freshman and sophomore years, but our teams were so good. During my sophomore year, the senior class had nine starters.
Q: What are some of the other activities you were involved in at Tri-West?
A: I was part of student council my sophomore and junior years, and I was our public address announcer for girls basketball and softball. When I wasn’t playing baseball, I announced for them, too. Basically, I started doing that in the eighth grade because the softball coach asked me. I feel super confident doing that and would like to do more of it when I get to college.
Q: Speaking of college, what are your plans starting the 2020-21 school year?
A: I am attending Ball State University and am sort of on the fence as far as a major right now. There is always a possibility of me going into telecommunications because I love that stuff. I have quite a bit of family that lives in the Muncie area, and I kind of wanted to make my own path.
Q: Your senior school year ended in unconventional fashion. Looking back, how would you describe your time at Tri-West?
A: I really love the aspect of being part of a team. It’s been a fun ride, and I hate to see it end. My four years at Tri-West are some of the best of my life because of the community. It’s just a special bond we have from growing up together.
Photo by Eric Pritchett