Reservoir senior catcher Danny O'Hagan sees the season like a fastball headed straight down the middle of the plate.
The No. 3 Gators (7-0) returned every starter from last year, added versatile Mount St. Joseph transfer Joe Kearney and have a dominant pitcher in Cody Morris.
O'Hagan believes it can all add up to a special year as the team bids for the program's first state title.
A four-year varsity player and three-year starter, O'Hagan bats leadoff and is the team's defensive glue behind the plate. Entering Thursday, O'Hagan was batting .383 with 54 runs scored, 26 RBIs and 42 stolen bases in his career.
In addition to baseball, O'Hagan played two varsity seasons on the basketball team and he's maintained a 3.93 GPA. He's set to play baseball at Catholic University.
O'Hagan loves pro sports and his favorite teams are the Orioles, Washington Nationals and Washington Redskins.
What do you enjoy most about being behind the plate?
I like everything about it. I like how I'm involved in every game. A lot of positions, if you have a dominant pitcher, you may not get a ball an entire game. I'm involved in every pitch, so it keeps me in the game, keeps me up and energized and I never lose focus in the game.
What's the most difficult aspect of catching?
Probably the wear and tear over the course of the season. Especially this season because of the rain — we've played four days in a row. Squatting and getting up throughout the whole game can be taxing, but I enjoy doing it.
What's it like catching a fine pitcher like Cody Morris?
He's throwing in the low 90s and has very good off-speed stuff. The best part about it is he has great control, so I'm not back there scared because I don't know where a pitch is going. I put my glove down and it's there 99 percent of the time.
What are the added responsibilities that come with catching?
Catching has a lot of responsibility. You have to make sure the pitching staff stays in. Before each pitch, each batter you have to make sure everybody knows where they are supposed to be going, so you have to talk that up. It's another thing that keeps me in the game, and I got to make sure everyone else stays in the game.
What's it going to take to bring home a state title?
The last three years, the pitching has been fantastic so we need to keep that going and I think what's really hurt us in the past is our offense. We need our offense to keep rolling and keep scoring runs, because it takes a lot of pressure off our pitchers. Last year, we had a lot of 3-1, 2-0 games, so pitchers were throwing a lot of innings. This year, we've been scoring a lot of runs, so pitchers are throwing less innings and they'll be fresher when the playoffs come.
What's it like being a senior with your high school days coming to an end?
It's weird. I can remember coming in my first day of freshman year so nervous and not knowing what to do. And time flies, and now I've got about one-and-a-half months left before graduating. It hasn't hit me yet that I'm almost done with high school and going to be moving on. I'm going to be missing friends I see every day that I probably won't see much after.
What would you like to get out of your final high school days?
I want to keep my grades up, that's important. I don't want to go into my first year of college on a downer — I want to keep going up. And I definitely want to finish baseball on a high note, that's very important to me.
How do you feel about the Redskins signing DeSean Jackson?
It's high risk, high reward and hopefully it works out. I don't really like those kind of personalities. He's got really good talent and coming off a 3-13 year, you just want some talent on the team at this point.
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