Strasburg sophomore Sager steady force for Rams

Strasburg's Trevor Sager fires a pitch against Warren County last month at Bing Crosby Stadium in Front Royal. Sager has been a steady player for the Rams this season. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Trevor Sager got a late start to his baseball career, but he’s come a long way in a short time.

The Strasburg sophomore said he didn’t play at all until he was in fifth grade, but it didn’t take long for him to love the game.

“I gave it a try, and at first I was like this is OK,” Sager said. “But then I started getting better at it, and I started really liking the game.”

Sager, who plays primarily at shortstop and pitcher, improved so much that he was one of three freshman last year who made the Rams’ varsity squad.

He had four doubles, one triple, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases and 11 RBIs, which was tied for second on the team.

“It was a really neat experience to play up with all those older guys as a freshman,” Sager said. “I learned that you can’t just think you’re the best, you got to play as a team. None of it’s going to work if you can’t work with the team and get everybody involved.”

Strasburg coach Joe Bauserman said he was happy with what he saw from Sager as a freshman.

“As a freshman, he struggled a little bit in the field, but he continued to get confidence,” Bauserman said. “He started to kind of come along as a fielder and then pitching, and then he started hitting the ball a little bit toward the end of the year. So he’s kind of rolled over pretty much to this year, kind of the same boat. Hopefully, he can just keep making those steps and keep getting better.”

Toward the end of 2017 season, Bauserman said he was looking to find a new pitcher, and Sager stepped up to the plate for him. Sager was able to pick up a couple of big wins, and the team is looking for even more victories this season.

Sager said that he enjoys pitching even more than hitting.

“I like to have control of the game, and I have a lot more confidence when I’m pitching,” he said.

Sager mainly relies on his fastball and curveball, and Bauserman said if he continues to make progress he’s confident in what Sager can do on the mound this season.

“I feel like he’s going to be just fine if he continues to hit his spots and be able to locate the ball with his fastball and curveball,” Bauserman said.

Sager said he lifted weights and has gotten bigger and stronger in the offseason and it has made a big difference for him on the mound.

He said that being a pitcher has also helped him as a hitter.

“You kind of think what would I do if I was in this situation?” Sager said. “If I was pitching what would I throw? So it just kind of helps me expect a little bit better of what’s coming, what might be coming.”

Bauserman said Sager is hitting just under .350 this season and has been productive at the plate for a young Rams’ squad.

“He’s a guy that probably wants to bat .450, so he’s going to be hard on himself,” Bauserman said. “He knows what he has to do, and he’s a very coachable kid. And I have no doubt that he’ll accomplish his goals.”

The Rams have two freshman and six sophomores on the squad this year. Bauserman said that Sager has stepped up into more of a leadership role this season and he’s been very happy with that.

Sager said that he is just trying to help out some of the younger players.

“This year I’m going to be one of the leaders,” he said. “So I’m going to have to step up and try to help the guys out like they did with me last year, just knowing that I got to step up and do what’s best for the team.”

The Rams have struggled this season and are 3-6 overall, and 0-1 in the Bull Run District. Despite the record, Sager said he believes the team has a lot of potential and can finish the season strong.

“We’re doing a lot of things right, but there’s some things we definitely need to improve on,” Sager said. “Just a couple of the little things we’re doing is just beating us down. But if we fix those little things we’re going to be a pretty good ball team. I think we can probably beat any team. I have a confidence in us. We’re pretty good, but we just got to put everything together.”