Take Me Out to the (Griffin) Ball Game

It’s not so quiet anymore at Griffin field now that baseball season is back on.



Jacqueline Colombo, Senior Staff Writer

For two years now, Grossmont’s baseball field has been deserted by fans since the COVID-19 pandemic, which put all sports on pause for a little while. Not this year, as the Griffins are finally back and happy to be competing in front of crowds once more. The team is without a doubt ready and motivated now more than ever. Here is an inside look at the 2022 season so far.

Randy Abshier, head coach of 17 years, offered a quick recap: “2022 season started off good; we were 3-0 to start the season. There were some good teams we played, but then we ran into some clubs at Orange Empire up in Riverside, LA area, which was a little higher caliber, and went on a two-game losing streak against Riverside, competed and bounced back again against Barstow and then lost to Cypress. And now we’re 6-5.” 

A few players standing out so far this season on the pitching side are Kyle Dobyns, Andrew Shirvanian and Jake Sergent. Hitting-wise, standouts so far are Skyler Agnew, third baseman, and Sean McGrew, a veteran from the 2020 suspended baseball season.

“I’m liking it so far,” Pitcher Dobyns said. “It’s my first year so I’m just trying to get used to everything, but it’s been going pretty good. We’ve been playing against some tough teams so we’re just getting ready for conference.”

Dobyns’ goals this season are to win games, keep throwing strikes as a pitcher, and be a captain. “When you’re pitching, all the eyes are on you, so you’re being like a leader and a captain on the field and just trying to maintain that and just win games basically,” he said.

It is not uncommon to start a new season motivated. Most athletes will have goals and achievements in mind going into a new season, and Third Baseman Agnew is no exception. 

“As a team, I think I want our goal to win a lot more games, try to get to the championship, put another banner out there,” Agnew said. “I want us to all stay on our grind, get our pitching dialed in, and our hitting, and I think we’ll be fine.”

Agnew said many of the players’ met each other for the first time meeting since the pandemic. It took everyone about a month or two to get to know each other and everyone’s names.

Another familiar feeling after coming back from a long break many athletes can relate to is finding room for improvement no matter how good you are playing. First Baseman Zavien Watson talked about his expectations for his first year back. 

“Personally, I think I’m doing pretty good, but can get better, not only for me but for my teammates too, because there’ve been a couple of at-bats where I could’ve had a pivotal RBI score, but I didn’t get it done so, I feel like I can do better,” said Watson, who made getting drafted after this year as one of his goals of the season.

Abshier mentioned schools and scouts have been showing interest in Watson.

It hasn’t been too easy lately, as excited as the team is to be back on the field. Abshier talked about the hurdles they have had to work on as a team so far. 

“We played well; we pitched well at certain times, and it has been exposed on the bullpen side of the house where late in the game … we struggle to finish,” Abshier said. “We struggle to throw strikes late in the game or keep our hit count or teams off the base pads. We’ve been struggling with that late in the game, so a lot of our loss has been closed until the end of the game where we’ve lost it.”

This year, the Griffins have lost six of their pitchers to scholarships and injuries, but the players will not let that get in the way of their season.

“Honestly, as a team, I think we are much better,” Sergent, a pitcher, said. “But in the 2019 year, we just didn’t have a couple of the pieces that we needed, and I think this year we have all those guys.” 

Sergent added they have a good squad with the right confidence to run in playoffs; they just need to clean a couple of things up, and then they will be able to get there.

After taking a two-year break, it is good to have our baseball team playing while hearing fans cheer again. Welcome back, Griffins! You have been missed.


This article originally appeared in the March 2022 print issue of The Summit.