Gordon Pihl has been named the Daily Journal’s Athlete of the Week for the week of Monday, March 12.
Pihl is a senior catcher for the Richmond baseball team who signed his letter of intent to Brunswick Community College last Monday and then, four days later, blasted a three-run homer at the top of the sixth inning to help the Raiders hold off Pinecrest and snap a two-game skid.
That three-run shot was the first home run of Pihl’s varsity career and he made sure to celebrate once he reached home plate, letting out a scream while being mobbed by teammates.
“It was kind of unreal to be honest with you,” Pihl said. “I knew he (Pinecrest pitcher Pres Olstert) was going to try and get ahead with a fastball, so I was just sitting on it. He gave it to me and I put the bat on the ball.
“I had some (home runs) in summer ball but, of course, that’s nothing like actually being in the season,” he continued. “That’s definitely one I will remember for a while.”
Although he spent some time behind the plate last year, Pihl is getting used to his first and final season as the team’s starting catcher. He’s says he’s been able to take care of his body despite the position taking a toll on his body.
So far, Pihl has five RBI — tied with junior Trey Watkins for third on the team — on three hits and leads the team in put outs (54) and fielding percentage (.965).
“The most fun part is just playing (the game). I love it and just being that role model for my team,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep winning games and I keep playing well.”
Below are Pihl’s answers to three of the questions presented by the Daily Journal:
Q: Who’s your favorite athlete and/or team?
A: Miguel Cabrera. I’ve looked up to and watched him ever since I was little and he got traded (to Detroit). My dad grew up in Michigan so I’ve been forced upon the Detroit Tigers and I’ve been a fan my whole life.
Q: If you could spend a day with anyone, who would it be? Why?
A: I guess it would be him (Miguel Cabrera) because that’s my role model. All the way from his swing to just everything he does. He’s definitely one of the biggest influences of my life.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Hopefully I’m still playing ball, that’s my goal. I don’t care where I’m at as long as I’m still playing. If not, hopefully I’m making money doing something with my life.