Drew Semler only dabbled in pitching before this summer. The Fieldston left hander felt it was better to start doing it full time late than never.
“I realized I’m a lefty and it might be my ticket to play in college,” the senior said. “Coaches would tell me you have a good arm in the outfield, why not put that on the mound and see what happens.”
The results have been positive so far. Semler is one of the Eagles top two pitchers this season along with Henry Fishman. He pitched well after a rough first inning in an eventual, 7-0, road loss to Poly Prep in Ivy League baseball last Saturday.
Semler allowed five runs, just two earned on two hits and five walks in six innings against one of New York City’s best lineups. He got a double play ball after an error of his own and that grit really impressed Eagles coach Tony Marro.
“I think every game he has made unbelievable improvements,” Marro said. “His location has gotten better. He bounces back. He threw the ball away he got the next guy out. I think he pitched a really good game.”
Semler didn’t get help from his defense in the first inning. Two errors helped lead to four Poly runs. Nick Storz and Pat DeMarco both had hard-hit RBI doubles. Semler settled down from there after admittedly being a little excited for the game early.
“First inning I was just a little two geeked up,” he said. “I settled in for a few innings, felt like I was throwing first pitch strikes.”
The Eagles couldn’t muster any offense to help him out. Storz and reliever Nic Mulitz combined on a no hitter. Storz left with an injury after five innings with a perfect game. Fieldston’s lone base runner was a walk to Logan Luttway in the sixth.
DeMarco made two great plays for Poly in centerfield on hard hit balls by Semler. Jack Upton was called out on a close play at first on a bunt in the fourth. Semler would still like to see his team be on the attack more at the plate.
“I felt like we could have come out more aggressive,” he said. “No one in out league is unhittable.”
Fieldston is playing from a bit of a disadvantage to the rest of the league. It grass home field was deemed unplayable before the season started. The Eagles play its home games at Van Cortland Park or Hackley on most days now, but have gotten a lot of its practice time indoors or on the turf lacrosse field.
“Extremely difficult,” Marro said. “We have been in the gym a lot. We might have practices out once.”
It was discouraging at first for the players, especially not getting to play their homecoming game at home. They haven’t used it as an excuse, but motivation.
“We realized we had to turn that mind set around quickly,” Semler said. “The season goes by fast. We are tying to tell ourselves we are going to be road warriors.”
Fieldston softball bests Poly: Temma Levis struck out seven and went to 2-for-4 at the play to help the Eagles return the favor against rival Blue Devils. Poly won the first meeting back on April 18. West Duchovny’s RBI double started a five-run third inning.