Eighth Grade Boys Baseball Team Starts With A Bang

The Story of Eighth Grade Boys Baseball Team’s Amazing Start, Despite There Being No Cuts.

The practice field at Walnut where the 8th grade baseball team practices along with many other baseball and softball teams. (Jack Davis)

Eighth grade baseball players showed in early March expecting tryouts, but were actually met with the first practice, making the team “no cut.”  The coach’s choice has been widely discussed by the team, with many different opinions on what it means for the season.. 

Michael Scruggs, ‘26, has been playing baseball for almost 9 years, and his favorite position to play is shortstop. He was one of the players who showed up expecting tryouts only to get a first practice instead. 

“[It was] very unorganized and unprofessional,” Scruggs said. 

Seth Washington, ‘26, plays 2nd base and has played baseball for almost as long as Scruggs.

“[I’m] neutral because it allows some people who aren’t as good to play,” Washington said, “but at the same time it doesn’t allow people to experience what a tryout is like for next year.” 

Although Scruggs’ opinion is one which a few players have. Opinions like Washington’s are definitely the majority.

“It’s a really good community and especially in middle school, it’s good to be inclusive so that those who are just starting out still have a chance to grow and learn about the sport,” Tristan Zistler, ‘26, said.

Finn Allen 26’ who has been in baseball for almost his whole life (and also likes to play 1st base) had a similar stance to Zistler’s 

“I didn’t really care if there were cuts or not because it let more people play, which is fine with me,” Allen said.

Even though there were no cuts, players still feel that this team will have a great season.

“I definitely think that our team has the ability to achieve a winning record,” Washington said. Scruggs, feels the same.

Yes, easily if we play our cards right,” Scruggs said.

The team practices 3 times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. WHHS doesn’t have a baseball diamond, so the team, along with many other baseball and softball teams, have to practice on the South field at WHHS. 

While the team’s practices slowed down due to weather, the team’s momentum and excitement didn’t, especially after getting hyped up for the first game by getting their jerseys the week before spring break. The team’s first game was scheduled for the first Tuesday back from break, but this game, along with the next week’s, were rained out. While this did dampen the moods of the players, it just made them look forward to their first game even more.

On April 14, the team had their first game. In the first inning, the Eagles put up 3 runs against Princeton, and by the end, the Walnut Hills Eagles scored 15 with Princeton only scoring 1. Scruggs was the starting pitcher, finishing the game giving up only 1 unearned run but also ending with a no-hitter. 

On April 20, the team was playing their second game of the season where they once again put up winning numbers scoring 18, and holding NCH to only 3 runs. 

The 8th grade baseball team’s off campus home field. (Jack Davis)

A week later on April 27 WHHS 8th grade boys baseball team played their third game with Scruggs on the mound once again. In the first inning Scruggs started out strong posting 3 K’s in the top half of the frame. Just like Scruggs, the team’s offense didn’t lose their shine either, posting 3 runs in the bottom half. Halfway through the game Connor Duggan, ‘ 26 flashed the leather by catching a flyball and swiftly throwing it to first for an inning ending double play. After the game it was officially Scruggs’ second no-hitter of the season and having posted 13 K’s in total, it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon. The final score was WHHS-3, CCD-0.

As of April 28, the team has won all three of their games, and the season looks just as promising as some players predicted, despite the team being no cut.