Grimes and team grind to defend State Champion title
SUN. | 04-10-22 | SPORTS
Jayden Grimes, who was a member of last year's state championship-winning baseball team, looks to be a huge piece in defending the title this year. On March 1, the team opened their season with a win against Washington 11-1. Grimes got off to a fast start batting .500 with three runs batted in during his first game this year.
Grimes has been playing baseball since he was six years old. His dad has played a huge role in where he is today.
“When I was little, me and my dad used to hit, and we still do,” Grimes said. “We go to the field almost every day and hit and field ground balls.”
Grimes practices with Rose every afternoon and puts in the extra effort to hit over the weekends.
“During the week we go every day from about four to around six-thirty, and on the weekends I will hit in the morning,” Grimes said.
Last season, Rose had a record of 16-4, and ended the year riding a twelve-game winning streak all the way to the title. Grimes batted .290 last season with 18 hits and 18
Photo by Forbes Hall
runs batted in. Grimes’ biggest asset to the team is the sheer versatility that he brings.
“My biggest strength is my versatility; I can play almost anywhere on the field, and I am also very quick,” Grimes said.
Defending the title will come with some challenges. The team will face extra pressure and have higher expectations to fulfill.
“There is definitely some extra pressure going into the season trying to defend states, and we have higher expectations as well,” Grimes said.
Winning the state championship has given the team a lot of confidence that will help them in the ‘22 season.
“It gives me a lot of confidence because we did not lose many players, so I know we still have the guys and the talent to go win it all again,” Grimes said.
Having most of the team return was also a huge confidence boost because the whole team works well together, and losing that could possibly be a huge blow to them.
“Our biggest strength is probably our chemistry, because we have all been playing ball with each other since we were in Little League,” Grimes said.
A big part of Rose’s success last year was due to the defense, and specifically in the outfield.
“In order to win the state championship, we will need to keep the outfield good because that was one of our strongest parts last year,” Grimes said. “We will also need to make the least amount of errors possible.”
Because of the Rampants' previous success, other teams will see them as a threat.
“Last year we faced pretty good pitching, but this year being the defending state champions, I feel like we will face a lot more aces on the mound,” Grimes said.
Potentially winning back-to-back state championships will be difficult, but Grimes and the team feel very confident going into this season.