When senior pitcher Lance McCullers and his Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.) teammates put on their uniforms, they’re representing a tradition of baseball excellence at the private school that goes back more than 100 years.
Photographs and other mementos of the Tigers’ impressive baseball legacy are on display in the team’s Hall of Fame room. Glass cases in the center of the room feature jerseys, autographed balls and newspapers from Jesuit’s three Florida state championships. Jesuit’s senior-laden squad hopes to make it four.
McCullers is the Tigers’ ace and leader. A sure-fire MLB Draft pick who has committed to Florida, he’s looking to cap his career with a state title after giving up the game-winning three-run homer in last year’s championship game.
Max Beermann is Jesuit’s big bopper. The 6-foot-6 first baseman hit the first home run in the Tigers’ recently opened $2 million dollar stadium and hasn’t stopped coming up with big hits since.
Nolan Schultz is the team’s quirky catcher, who has the luxury of managing one of the best pitching staffs in the state.
Conor O’Brien is a key part of the Tigers’ rotation and would be the ace on most high school staffs. One of seven seniors to sign a national letter of intent, O’Brien will play at N.C. State next year.
State championship or not, none of Jesuit’s seniors will forget the experience and the friendships they forged at Jesuit. A few might follow in the footsteps of their coach, Richie Warren, who was a senior pitcher on the Tigers’ last championship team in 2000 and returned to coach his alma mater in 2007.
Warren has done his part to uphold the school’s reputation as a baseball power, leading Jesuit to back-to-back appearances in the state title game. This year’s team has a good chance to go all the way.
Watch Other Episodes:
Watch Episode 1: Winning Tradition
Watch Episode 2: Stronger Longer
Watch Episode 3: Mental Mindset
Watch Episode 4: Lance McCullers Jr.
Watch Episode 5: Extraordinary Depth
Watch Episode 6: Staying Loose
Watch Episode 7: Been There, Done That
Watch Episode 8: Recover, Then Prepare
Watch Episode 9: McCullers Jr. Delivers
Watch Episode 10: Extra Innings