By Sean Giggy
(WAOW) - Athens' Andy Ellenbecker has been one of the top athletes in the Marawood North Conference over the last two baseball seasons and this year is no exception.
The Blue Jays' senior has led the team to a 6-1 record, their best start in more than five years.
He may not show it, but ask Andy Ellenbecker about the way the Athens baseball team has begun the season and he'll tell you he's excited. Through seven games the Blue Jays have already matched last year's win total and it's a position Ellenbecker hasn't been in during his four years with the program.
"It's really exciting because this is probably the best start I've had in any sport all through high school," Ellenbecker said. "We've got a young team and have had guys stepping up. It's real fun."
"We've been doing a nice job defensively," Athens head coach Ryan Scheithauer said. "Second is our pitching. Obviously, Andy is a huge part of that. He's our leading pitcher. It's nice to have that building and that stepping stone for this program."
Of course, Ellenbecker isn't just a spectator. As the Blue Jays' top pitcher, he's responsible for three of their wins with 33 strikeouts and a 1.94 ERA in 25 innings. At the plate, he's batting 500 and has an astounding .762 on base percentage.
"As a team we've been playing well and I try to do my best to help the team get a W," Ellenbecker said. "Whether that be pitching, hitting or playing defense."
"He's huge by leading by example," Scheithauer said. "I mean the guy's a phenomenal athlete, he works hard. They've become better baseball players because of him being on our team."
On the mound, Ellenbecker says he feels more confident with his control and knows it will take his best work to continue the Blue Jays' early season success.
"This year I think I'm hitting spots a lot better pitching. Not keeping stuff over the middle of the plate. I think that's going to be a big part of our season. Pitching is key for any baseball team."
Online reporter: Sean Giggy