As of Wednesday, April 1, 2015
PERRYDALE — Perrydale senior David Silver likes to keep busy.
Whether it is football, basketball, equestrian or a variety of other activities, Silver doesn’t sit still for long.
Yet, it’s been baseball that’s been Silver’s favorite sport. Since he began playing t-ball nearly 12 years ago, baseball has been his go-to hobby.
“I’ve had so much fun playing it through the years,” Silver said. “I’m going to miss it after this year.”
Silver hopes to make his senior year a special one with the Pirates, and he feels they have the players to do it.
“This is probably the best team that works together and is like a family since I’ve been here,” Silver said.
Expectations are high for Perrydale, which started the season 4-0. That’s a far cry from his first season with the Pirates.
When Silver joined the Pirates as a sophomore, he was a Kings Valley Charter School student. Perrydale was still learning coach Steve Mabry’s system.
Silver’s arrival signaled a huge moment for the Pirates’ baseball program.
“We didn’t have a bona fide catcher until David came,” Mabry said. “He came out and took advantage of the opportunity to be the guy behind the plate, and we didn’t give him a break for the past two years because we didn’t have the depth to be able to do that.”
Silver built up relationships with pitchers Chad Price, Haylen Janesofsky and Troy Trembly.
“I’ve learned to expect everything and anything,” Silver said. “I like each one of them like a brother.”
These days, Mabry said when his pitchers need a break, he rarely has to step onto the diamond. It’s Silver who approaches the pitcher’s mound. That level of trust is what sets Silver and the pitchers apart.
Silver may be right about the Pirates’ season. Perrydale, which played St. Paul Tuesday after press time, opened the season by outscoring opponents 42-8, including two shutouts in a row.
“We’ve gotten to a point where the younger guys have developed in the program,” Mabry said. “The seniors are the first who have been here for four years in the program. They teach the younger guys what’s expected of them. They own it.”
But Mabry wants them to become more dangerous and consistent at the plate.
“We’ve scored pretty consistently, but we’ve had three or four opportunities with the bases loaded and zero or one outs and only scored once or not at all,” Mabry said. “We can’t do that in league play. We won’t be up six or seven runs. We’ll be up one or tied.”
While success in nonleague play is nice, Silver said it will mean little if the Pirates don’t advance to the Class 2A-1A state playoffs this year. After years of growing in the program, Silver and his teammates are ready for a breakout season.
“We have to leave it all in the past,” Silver said. “We’ve got to come out on the field ready to go physically and mentally. The one game you aren’t ready will come back to bite you in the butt.”
Perrydale plays at Crow on Friday before opening league play at Country Christian on Tuesday. It will, Mabry hopes, be the start of something special.
“Our motto this year is ‘finish,’” Mabry said. “We’ve finished in the middle of the pack. The guys believe that this is our year to change that.”