From a Cub to a Lion, Brandon Ritchey’s Baseball Success Story

The Boys Baseball team roared their way to a 9-3 record this season led by coaches Kevin Lawrence, Tyler Taylor, and Brandon White. Senior Captain Brandon Ritchey says that the story behind their great season thus far is the closeness and competitiveness of the team. 

Ritchey told The Leonid in an email interview, “The guys are all close with each other, and we have a lot of fun together. I believe that all being close and all working towards one goal is what makes this team special.” Ritchey said, “I wouldn’t want to go out and play with a different group of guys.”

Ritchey’s journey as a baseball player started long ago, when he started playing for the Red Lion tee-ball program. Shortly after, he began playing in the Red Lion and Windsor Recreational Leagues, and when he reached high school, he played for the school team, Felton in the men’s league, and club ball for Backyard University. In the summer, he plays for Red Lion’s Legion team as well.

Ritchey is also a  leader for Red Lion on and off the field, and Ritchey believes that his great knowledge about the game has allowed him to improve.

“Knowing how things are supposed to work makes it much easier to figure out what you are doing wrong,” Ritchey said. “I also think having a good knowledge of the game has helped me to be a leader for my team. It has helped me to know what to say, and more importantly when to say it.”

Ritchey plays third base, but he can also play shortstop and right field depending on who is on the mound. Ritchey has played on the varsity team for three seasons and also hopes to continue to play baseball at the collegiate level at Penn State York next season.

Brandon huddles up with teammates and coaches near the dugout. Their closeness has been a boost for the team this season. (Left to Right): Corbin Sparks, Connor Lawrence, Ryan Stabley, Connor Ray, AJ Lipscomb, Brandon White, Chase Morris, Brandon Ritchey, Reid Anderson. Photo by Michelle Stabley.

Despite having a successful season, Ritchey said it hasn’t been easy for the Lions to this point. 

“The team has faced adversity due to injuries,” Ritchey said. “Teams are supposed to have 17 active players, but because of injury, they currently only have 14 available guys. This can make things tough for the players and coaches, not having many people to work with.” 

Despite the injury bug hitting their team hard, they have persevered and now find themselves six games above .500, 12 games into the season. 

Ritchey also faced adversity himself. Back in his Sophomore season, he made the varsity team, and then the world was put on pause because of the COVID pandemic. 

“This hurt me greatly as I knew about all the fun memories and experiences that I would miss out on,” Ritchey said.

Ritchey also says that changing positions has been a challenge for him. “I was always a shortstop growing up, however due to injuries and other things like that, my team has needed me in multiple positions.”

Brandon and the rest of the infield line up for the National Anthem. Red Lion looks to win another game at home.* (Left to Right): Jason Krieger, Brandon Ritchey, Jaden Taylor, AJ Lipscomb. Photo by Michelle Stanley

Furthermore, Ritchey feels the team’s greatest accomplishment is overcoming a tough week, where they went 0-3 and lost to Dallastown in an extra inning walk off game. 

“This hurt everyone on the team. However, after losing three straight, everyone has remained focused and determined,” Ritchey said. “This has led us to win every game since then and we don’t plan on stopping.” 

As the Lions approach the final five games of their regular season, Ritchey opened up about what Red Lion baseball and his coaches taught him throughout his high school career. 

“Obviously our games are important, but the coaches all know that teaching us life lessons comes first,” Ritchey stated. “Life lessons such as how to go about each day, fight adversity, as well as how to treat others with respect are all lessons that are shown repeatedly by my coaches.”

Brandon Ritchey has been an integral part of Red Lion’s baseball team, and looks to cap off his career as a Lion by leading them into the postseason, for a shot at all the glory. 

“We know that we have the talent and drive to go out and win every day,” Ritchey said.

By George Keene

Sports Editor

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