MARYSVILLE – When you see Eric Anderson snowboarding in the mountains on Stevens Pass, his long hair blowing in the wind, you might think he’s a free spirit.
But actually, math is his favorite subject, he wants to be a police officer, and he is a standout pitcher and hitter for the Marysville-Pilchuck baseball team, which is 7-1 after beating rival Marysville Getchell this week.
Anderson is making a lie of the old saying that pitchers can’t hit.
In the game against MG Anderson went 3-for-5 and drove in an impressive five runs in the 15-0 win.
Koby Bauman took the win and Colton Bayley the loss for MG. For M-P, Mark Bielawski went 2-for-2 with 2 RBI and Trevor Anderson also knocked in two runs.
Trevor Loucks went 3-for-3 with a double for MG.
Anderson, who was supposed to pitch in Wednesday’s game that was rained out, is the only Tomahawk set to play in college – at Bellevue. His coach, James Day, said that’s because Anderson is a “student of the game. He’s baseball savvy. He signed early. The other seniors don’t have places to go yet.”
They both say others likely will play at the next level. Catcher Jordan Luton is one.
“Holy cow, he’s amazing behind the plate,” Day said, adding he’s only given up two stolen bases this year.
Anderson gives Luton credit for helping him be an effective pitcher.
“The winning run could be on third base, and I know I could throw a breaking ball in the dirt,” and he would block it, Anderson said.
Anderson has exceptional control for a high school pitcher. He doesn’t walk many, can strike out a lot and has a low earned run average. He just missed a perfect game against Oak Harbor this year.
“Good things happen when you throw strikes,” he said, which is a high school coach’s dream. “Even the good hitters get out seven of ten times.”
Anderson has been pitching since he was “yea big,” about age 5 or so. He throws a 2-seam and 4-seam fastball, along with a big-bender curve and a changeup. Anderson plays for a select team, the Seattle Bombers, in the summer. He’s been working with their pitching coach since he was 9. He uses his lanky 6-foot-3 frame to his advantage, striding out downhill on his delivery to use “more of my length.”
He and Day both said his workouts in the offseason have led to tremendous improvements this year. He said he worked out on weights three times a week.
“It improved my physicality,” he said. “I wasn’t born the most athletic.”
Day said just being a senior helps with Anderson’s maturity and confidence.
“It’s the little things that matter” in baseball, Day said. “And Eric in the offseason worked on the little things.”
Anderson is a workhorse for the Tommies, pitching a lot of innings. Day said that’s important because with all of the rainouts each year M-P sometimes plays three to five games in one week.
“We get games in any way we can. Three games a week can be tough on pitching. Even the M’s don’t have five good starters,” Day said with a smile.”
With 12 of his 15 team members having varsity experience, Day expects a lot from this team, as does Anderson.
“We’re tough one through nine” in the batting order, Anderson said. “We’re capable of a lot of things.”
“One guy steps up to do the job” on this senior-laden team, Day said, mentioning Baily Alvis, Matt Bielawski and Tyler Devries. Anderson also mentioned Colby Phelps and even sophomore Jordon Justice.
“He’s a grinder,” Anderson said of Justice. “He’s crazy athletic. He leads by example. I actually look up to him.”
Day said the younger players competing with the older ones has given them “a senior mentality as well.”
Along with baseball, Anderson goes snowboarding up to 50 times a year, but he’s very careful about it.
“I push myself, but don’t risk injury. Baseball is number one,” he said.
Also, Anderson likes to umpire Little League baseball. And he got his first job six months ago working for Sketchers at the Outlet Mall at Tulalip. Anderson also has been involved with helping special needs students with his older brother. As for his long hair, Anderson said he knows those days are numbered.
“My summer coach heckles me all the time” about it, he said. “At Bellevue I’ll have to cut it.”