Mercer Island High School’s baseball squad charged out of the gate with a season-opening 6-4 win over Newport High School on May 11.
Islander senior center fielder Nathan Buchan said it’s been a long time coming, but the guys are finally back on the field after missing the 2020 season due to the pandemic. They’ll play a truncated eight-game season this spring.
“It feels good, it’s a lot better than summer (ball) because you’re playing for a school, you’re playing for Mercer Island. You’re doing it for your people and your friends and your family and the community,” said lefty Buchan, who scored two runs and snagged two flyballs against Newport.
Buchan, who played 18 games of summer ball with Baden Premier and then seven more leading up to the high school season, said that all the players on the varsity, junior varsity and C teams are soaking up every inning, every at-bat and every three-hour practice. They’re elated to be playing ball and they’re forming tight bonds along the way.
In the fall, Buchan will be attending the University of Redlands in California, where he’ll play ball for the NCAA Division III team.
He’s set on continuing his baseball journey, which began at the age of 5 or 6 when he got in some action with the 8 year olds. Buchan laughs when mentioning that his dad has videos and photos of him trying to hit a ball when he was less than 1 year old in the family’s West Seattle back yard. They thought he was a righty at first, but then got him on the left-handed path where he stands today.
The Reporter asked Buchan a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What superpower would you like to have?
I’d probably like to be able to know what someone’s next move is. (To read) their mind, so I know what they’re about to do before they do it, so I can counter it.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
What’s your go-to snack or meal before games?
Usually, I’m so dialed in to what’s going on, I’ll forget to eat until I’m probably running out of the house, but I always try and leave 10 minutes early. Usually throw together two turkey sandwiches and a granola bar and then a bunch of waters and that’s the pre-game right there.
What’s something that you’re afraid of that you’d like to overcome?
I would definitely say needles. I am terrified of needles and shots. I’m a little baby when it comes to it — I cry and scream and yell. I can’t do it. So that’s something I have to overcome.
What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?
Maybe juggling stuff. That was the first thing that came to mind. I think it’s very cool how they can juggle four balls and then it turns into three knives and stuff.
What’s the best piece of advice that you would give a freshman or a sophomore coming into the baseball program?
Baseball players are good not because of their talent, but because of their mindset and their mentality. Age is just a number, and you can compete with anyone if you believe it.