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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Senior Spotlight: Brendon Fischel

<rleton Knights baseball squad came into the season in a period of transition, with more first-years on the roster than sophomores, juniors and seniors combined. With such a young team, the Knights needed strong, solid leadership in order to grow and succeed, and their early exploits this season can, in part, be traced to the leadership of senior third baseman, Brendon Fischel. Fischel, affectionately called “the Fish” by his teammates, has been a four year starter for the Knights as an infielder, as well as a two-time all-MIAC academic performer. He started the season off well for the Knights, hitting just under .300 while also blasting the first two home runs of his college career. Fischel has also shone on the field at third base, a position he loves to play, utilizing his quick reaction time to snag hard hit balls that come his way.

“I started [the season] off hot,” said Fischel, a streak he partially attributed to the hot weather during the Knights’ Arizona spring break trip, where he hit .391 over eight games. “I’ve always called myself a fair-weathered baseball player,” he continued, describing how his performances, as well as the weather, have cooled down in recent weeks. However, he had a solid 2-for-4 effort in his last game against Bethel, indicating Fischel may be returning to his early season form. 

 Of the three senior captains, Fischel considers himself to be the vocal leader of the bunch. He tries to be the guy who kicks things into gear, holding teammates accountable when they are not practicing to their full potential or are making careless mistakes in the low-pressure practice environment. 

Fischel believes that the respect he has earned as a successful baseball player and student at Carleton aids in his legitimacy as a leader and cited a desire to lead as one of his biggest goals heading into the season. “We needed that leader to lead the Knights to perform the best that we can,” said Fischel, who always believed in the Knights’ young squad. “I thought from the beginning that if we really worked hard, we can compete with anyone.”

Remarkably, Fischel has played the entire season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, a very serious injury that can make it challenging to make even short throws. “At first, it was a pretty bad injury,” said Fischel. “I couldn’t really throw and I [had] been working on some exercises and strengthening throughout the past few months and I thought that it wasn’t going to get better.” However, Fischel’s perseverance in the healing process paid off. “Throughout the last month [my arm has] felt good enough to where I can still compete and throw the ball across the diamond when I need to,” he explained. Fischel has remained a part of the Knights’ lineup for most of the season, and the injury hasn’t had a noticeable impact on his performance, as he has yet to log an error this season.

Over the years, Fischel has evolved considerably as a player, especially at third base. Initially, Fischel felt tentative at the position. “I was very hesitant my freshman year and was scared being out there sometimes,” Fischel recalled. As Fischel began to become comfortable at his new position, his confidence grew. His added experience sparked a surge in confidence that has allowed him to better enjoy his time on the field. “I’m just really out there to have fun now and I think that’s really relaxed me. I’m only doing this one last time, I might as well go out and have fun and do the best that I can and have fun with the guys. I think that mentality it has led to my overall confidence level increasing.”  

The Knights seem to be embodying that brand of worry-free confidence in the early season, sweeping a ranked St. John’s team in a historic upset, despite injuries to two of their starting infielders. Fischel cites this series as the favorite moment of his Knights career. 

“We never expected it,” Fischel remarked, and in the victory, he was especially excited to defy one player on the St. John’s bench who attempted to intimidate the young Knights side by shouting “let’s attack them, they will crumble.” Fischel praised the play of the first-years in ensuring that they did not crumble in crunch time. “Seeing the freshman out there playing hard and every person on the team contributing somehow to those wins was really exciting for me to see and it really culminated my baseball experience.” 

Fischel and the Knights will look to continue their success and push for a playoff berth in the upcoming weeks. If you have a free weekday, come out to Mel Taube Field to see Fischel in action and perhaps witness another Knights upset.

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