The lactic acids are building up. The pain is becoming more severe. But that’s OK. It’s part of the game.
That’s the mentality out of Charlie Eisele, a catcher for the Island Trees High School Bulldogs baseball squad. The senior plays through the pain, knowing the outcome is worth
it in the end.
“I’m just worrying about taking it one game at a time,” Eisele said. “I don’t want to take it for granted. It’s a wonderful time to be with the team.”
Eisele is a three-year starter for the Bulldogs. He started the season as hot as anyone on the boys varsity baseball team, going eight for 15 with four doubles, a triple and seven RBIs.
“Baseball is his number one passion,” head coach Joe D’Auria said. “He’s been a starting catcher for us for three years. He’s a great kid, hard worker and a good student.”
But it isn’t Eisele’s offensive prowess that stands out to D’Auria. Rather, it’s his ability behind the plate.
“He’s great at framing and blocking balls in the dirt,” D’Auria said. “He works all winter on it. Framing is a very important part of the game. He controls the game with his blocking ability.”
Eisele catches at least three bullpen sessions per week during the winter. Not only does it keep him fresh, but it enables him to try out new techniques.
However, being a catcher means there is plenty of pain that comes with it. Fortunately for Eisele, he’s been playing for so long that he has it down to a science of his own.
“After a game, I’ll usually go for a run to get all of the lactic acids out of my knees and shoulders,” he said. “I let it move around my system, so my body can break it down. Then, I’ll ice, take a hot shower and get ready for bed.”
The biggest concern for any catcher is the knees. Any minor injury can develop into something much more painful and extensive, possibly ruining any shot at moving up the ladder. But it’s that toughness that Eisele believes has helped make him a leader on and off the field.
“You live and you learn,” Eisele said. “I enjoy it. It’s one of the most demanding positions on the field. I feel like my priority is being one of the toughest guys on the team.”
Now, Eisele is wrapping up his high school career. The next stop is SUNY Old Westbury, where he’ll play Division III men’s baseball. Until then, he’s making sure he enjoys his last few months with the Bulldogs.
“There are so many great moments,” he said, recalling his time with the Bulldogs. “Getting called up in my freshman year for a playoff game was a great experience. Getting a walk-off in the final home game last year was a wonderful experience. I loved it.”