Scranton head baseball coach Jamie Higgins conducts another spring practice inside the gym at Scranton high-school. The Knights are preparing for a three-day trip to Virginia to play three teams in the Charlottesville area.
Former Phillies, Mets, and Astros closer Billy Wagner is the head coach for the “Miller School” the Knights first opponent.
“Coach Kirby from UVA told me that’s the same Billy Wagner that pitched for the Phillies, and being a Phillies fan from around here we kind of recognized the name. I don’t know if some of these guys realize who he is, but when I told our Athletic Director and a couple of guys I coach with they seemed excited about it,” said Jamie Higgins.
“Yes it is really cool to play a team coached by a major that’s pretty neat. It’s really cool to go down to see some new faces and see some new competition. We play the same teams over and over again and it’s really nice weather down there to get a chance to get on the field,” said Shaemus Lunney.
Part of the Knights trip to Charlottesville includes seeing (2) Virginia Cavalier baseball games against Virginia Tech, and their home town hero and Scranton graduate Joe McCarthy the ACC Rookie of the Year.
All-American-Mike Papi from Tunkhannock also plays for Virginia. “It’s going to be exciting. You know Billy Wagner is a major league great and then we’re going to see Joe play and they have a very good team. So it’s going to be cool to watch,” said Kraigen Rasalla.
What you soon might be watching is Joe’s younger brother Jake McCarthy in a Cavalier uniform. The Scranton(Junior)is already verbally committed to join big bro Joe at UVA. “We’re definitely excited. We’re focused on the games. We have to play but there’s going to be some extra stuff that’s fun. Like i said meeting Billy Wagner seeing some other guys and meeting some other guys who maybe playing at the next level. So it’s definitely cool and I can’t wait for it,” said Jake McCarthy.
The Knights Parents Club raised over $4,200 dollars for this trip that includes 20 players and 6 coaches.