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Baseball: Sykesville's Ludwig continuing 'passion' for baseball at Lebanon Valley

Manchester Valley second baseman Caleb Ludwig makes a lunging attempt to catch the ball but comes up just short during a baseball game at Manchester Valley High School on April 28.
Manchester Valley second baseman Caleb Ludwig makes a lunging attempt to catch the ball but comes up just short during a baseball game at Manchester Valley High School on April 28. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group file)

Caleb Ludwig’s love for baseball started at a very young age.

Ludwig said he was playing catch and hitting the ball around the yard before he was barely able to walk. He had the unique opportunity to be around the high school game growing up and attending practices with his father, who’s been an assistant baseball coach at Manchester Valley High School since it opened in 2009.

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“My passion came from my dad,” Ludwig said. “I love baseball. There’s just something about the game that drew me towards it.”

What started as a simple passion has grown into a reality.

Following standout seasons with Manchester Valley and Sykesville Legion Post 223’s senior team, Ludwig is headed to Lebanon Valley College in the fall to continue his baseball career.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a while, something I was working towards,” Ludwig said. “Every day I knew there was something I was working for. There was always a reason for me to show up to practice. It wasn’t like I was just going there to have fun, I was going there to achieve something more.”

Sykesville's Caleb Ludwig is tagged out by Pasadena second baseman A.J. Moya on an attempt to steal second base during their game against Pasadena in Eldersburg Saturday, July 8, 2017.
Sykesville's Caleb Ludwig is tagged out by Pasadena second baseman A.J. Moya on an attempt to steal second base during their game against Pasadena in Eldersburg Saturday, July 8, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

The hard work has paid off.

Ludwig, a recent Man Valley grad, helped lead the Mavericks’ baseball squad to a Class 3A West regional final berth and he racked up plenty of accolades on the way. He earned first team all-county honors and became Manchester Valley’s all-time leader in hits, doubles and runs scored.

“My senior year was something special,” Ludwig said. “Just the team around me and everything … it was just a really fun year. I couldn’t ask for anything better for my senior year. I’d still trade it all for a state championship though but it was a great year and a good way to cap off high school.”

Along with high school ball, Ludwig has spent the last three seasons playing Legion baseball for Post 223. He said the competition is a bit stronger than that of the high school level. The ability to travel across Maryland has offered great exposure to see different talent levels.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Post 223 — they are 8-15-2 and cap off the season this weekend with four games.

Despite challenges and frustrations, Ludwig said he’s very much enjoyed his time with the team, enough to where he’d love to finish out his Legion career.

“It may not be the best results or the results that everybody wants but … it’s just a lot of younger players that are developing and learning new things,” Ludwig added. “There are guys there and they just have a will to work and they want to get better.”

The goal for Ludwig from now until the fall — keep working hard with hopes of earning a starting role as soon as possible when he reports to Lebanon Valley.

There is plenty of excitement involved, especially for a player that has a strong passion for the game.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Ludwig said. “I can’t wait to be up there and sort of be one of the boys.”

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