Around the age of 5 or 6, Brandon Grover got involved with tee ball like most young children his age. Unlike a good number of them he has continued to play the sport he fell in love with many years ago.
When his high school baseball career comes to an end at Ashland later this year, Grover will be taking his talents to Salve Regina in Newport where he’ll be playing for the Seahawks.
“Salve Regina originally contacted me and eventually I decided to visit the school. Once I saw the campus, I fell in love with it,” he said. “Now the goal is to play center field for them, and I’ve been told that I have a good chance of doing that.”
Although having grown up playing baseball with his best friend, Dom Cavanagh, by his side, he didn’t really know what to expect when trying out for the high school team.
“I was aiming for varsity, but looking at least to make the junior varsity team,” the Ashland centerfielder said. “Making the JV team I just kept working to improve my game until I was eventually called up near the end of the year for the tournament where I sat on the bench to watch and learn.”
The following year, Grover landed a starting position with the Clockers varsity squad playing center field, the position he had played his entire career. According to the then-sophomore, he had himself an alright season during his first full-time varsity campaign, but his confidence wasn’t totally there.
“The competition was not what I was expecting it to be and it got to me a bit,” he said. “During the off-season I played AAU baseball for the Metro West Devils and it definitely helped me regain my confidence, especially at the plate.”
Last season the center fielder not only felt much more comfortable at the plate he also thought that he had a better year in the outfield as well. The Clockers went 13-7, earning themselves a number eight seed in the Division 3 South Tournament.
Grover and his teammates were able to knock off the number one seed Apponequet 8-4 in 11 innings en route to getting to the Championship game. Unfortunately, the Clockers fell short as they were edged by Medway 1-0.
Entering this season Grover and his teammates were ready to make another run at the Division Championship where the outfield was hoping to see more action on the mound.
“I would like to pitch more, but unfortunately I’m stuck in the outfield as I’m told that there is no one as good as I am out there’re,” Grover said. “Pitching would allow me to be more into the game as there is much more continuous action.”
Ashland Coach Matt Messer was planning on using his outfield to pitch on occasion for the Clockers this upcoming season.
“Brandon’s one of those rare five tool guys. He has a rocket for an arm and runs like a deer,” the Clocker Coach said. “I’m expecting him to hit in the 400’s while being a leader on the team. He is a great kid on and off the field.”
While the Clocker were hoping to get back to the Division 3 South Championship this spring, it’s not sure if they’ll even step foot on the diamond because of the coronavirus epidemic going around.
“Not playing is crushing me,” Grover said. “You wait your entire high school career to play your senior season and two weeks before its to begin you’re told that you’re not playing. It’s really tough.”
At this point no one knows if the season, which has been temporarily postponed, will resume. Currently there is a possibility that the teams will take to the field on April 27 for a shortened season, but they won’t know for sure until a later date.
“Not playing high school baseball is hurting me and putting me behind as I get ready for college; but then again it’s doing the same to everyone else,” he said. “It would have really been a plus to play this season and hopefully we get the chance to, but I do know that I’ll be playing Legion ball for Ashland again this summer.”
At this point, all the Grover can do is continue to work out and be prepared when and if the season gets underway. It definitely wasn’t the way the senior outfielder was looking to end his baseball career at Ashland.