Little making most of return to baseball
FRONT ROYAL – Last year Trenton Little learned a valuable lesson, and he’s used the experience to come back to the game he loves in a big way.
The Skyline senior missed last year’s baseball season due to poor grades, and he said it was a difficult experience to go through.
“As a person, myself, it made me step up and get things done that I needed to,” Little said. “(During baseball season) I came to Warren County games. I came to Skyline games. I missed out on a great chance last year. And I wish I could go back and change some things, but the only thing we can do is continue from here on out and get better.”
Getting better is what Little did. He played on Front Royal Post 53’s American Legion team last summer and said that helped him a lot.
“That’s really fun,” Little said. “We have kids come from Strasburg, Woodstock. It’s fun getting together with a group of guys that you’ve been playing against your whole life. Then you get to play with each other and face other teams in the area – it’s fun.”
Little also is a standout golfer at Skyline and advanced to the state tournament this season. Once golf season was over Little said he turned his attention to baseball.
He said that he tried to get in as much batting practice as possible to get ready for his senior season.
“In the winter time I would hit in the cage,” Little said. “I would get somebody to go with me, and we’d get in the cage down here (Bing Crosby Stadium) on the field and just hitting off the tee. Even if I was by myself, I just wanted to improve my swing. Just try and get better seeing the baseball, squaring it up. There’s just numerous things that I did to just help me get to the point I am now.”
So far this season Little has been a bright spot for the Hawks. He is hitting .444 (12-for-27) for Skyline with one homer, 11 RBIs and five runs scored.
The shortstop/pitcher leads the team in most of the offensive categories, and Skyline coach Jeff Monroe said Little has been a real spark for the team.
Monroe said he wasn’t sure what to expect from Little after he missed last season.
“Being of that year and for him to come back as strong as he has so far this early is a surprise in a way,” Monroe said. “It’s one of those things where when you’re off for a year it’s hard to get back into the groove real early. He has come back and come back strong.”
Little has also been effective on the mound. He has been used mostly as a reliever and has a 2-1 record.
“He’s been a guy when we’ve needed to put somebody in; he’s the guy we can turn to,” Monroe said. “We feel comfortable putting him on the mound. He’s one of those guys where he knows the game. He understands the game, and you feel comfortable putting him in there. He throws just as hard as any pitcher we’ve got. He’s got a real good fastball, a decent curveball. He knows the game, so he knows how to pitch the game. He doesn’t just go out there and just throw. So that’s a good part about being able to put him out there on the mound.”
The Hawks have struggled this season and are 2-11, but Little said that he still believes the team can turn things around and be successful.
Monroe said that Little has been a good leader on a team with seven seniors, five juniors, and three sophomores.
“A lot of the kids look up to him,” Monroe said. “It’s one of those things where they look up to him because he’s a really good player, but they also look up to him because he knows the game. And he’s one of those guys who they can always turn to about different situations and stuff like that. And he’s done a really good job at that, and he’s still working on it.”
Little said he is still undecided on where he will attend college next year. He said he wants to go to school in Florida, and he is interested in playing baseball at Eckerd College, a Division II school, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“It would be an honor,” Little said of playing in college. “Most kids would love to play the game and love to play sports in college and they just can’t. And I would be thankful to have the opportunity to play. And if I get to play at the next level – that’s just awesome. I mean even if I don’t succeed at the next level I can say I made it, and I’m able to do those things that other kids won’t.”