Catcher Gilroy is set to pair with pitchers

MIHS senior enjoys being the field general.

Sometimes you take one for the team.

In the case of Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior catcher Tyler Gilroy, he’s garnered a plethora of bumps and bruises from wayward baseballs while manning his spot behind the plate.

The Islander first strapped on the pads and mask at about age 9 or 10 and still thrives as the “quarterback of the baseball field” to this day. He also played infield and pitched over the years, but the field general position has always appealed to him the most.

On what it takes to succeed in the grind of the catcher’s realm, where mental and physical toughness are critical, Gilroy said: “You’ve got to be able to control the game. You’ve got to know what pitches to call and how to work with your pitcher so that they feel the most comfortable with you. One huge thing that makes a good catcher is just really knowing the game of baseball. Where you’re going to go with the ball, as well as being there for your pitcher, kind of letting them go to work and allowing them to have full confidence in you back there.”

A trio of stellar pitchers that captain Gilroy will be working closely with this season are junior righty Charlie Seneker (a Division I commit to William & Mary in Virginia), junior lefty Jack Buchan and senior righty and captain Neal Baron. The third captain is senior Brandon Abulhosn, who will sit out this season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

At press time, the Islanders had yet to play a game this season and were set to open their campaign versus Garfield at home on March 11.

Gilroy unleashed his perspective on what the team needs to put forth to achieve success this season. Hitting and fielding are two of the team’s top strengths and the Islanders will be aiming to “eliminate the freebies,” meaning walks and errors.

“If we can win that kind of ‘freebie war,’ (which) is what we call it, we think we’re going to win baseball because we know our hitters are going to go to work and we’re going to back up our pitchers, for sure,” Gilroy said.

Returning to the team this season will be new head coach Chris Lawler, a 2014 MIHS graduate who captained both the baseball and basketball teams. After graduating, Lawler continued along his baseball path at the University of San Diego.

“He’s awesome so far. He’s super positive,” Gilroy said. “He knows the game of baseball really well. He knows the little things and does the little things right, which is really good. He was coached by our old coach, (Dominic) Woody, and so he knows a lot of the things that the program already likes and which is something that we really thought was huge.”

The Reporter asked Gilroy a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Probably just, like, walking around with dirty shoes in my house. It’s just gross.

What’s a binge worthy TV series that you’d recommend?

“Seinfeld,” for sure.

What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?

I’d like to learn, probably, to unicycle. That looks sick.

If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?

Probably Julio Rodriguez. Great baseball player. Also just really cool guy.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

I would say something like, along the lines of, ‘You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.’ So really just kind of living by that and just going through life one step at a time and making sure that I’m not just sitting back and doing nothing, and getting out, doing things and applying that to baseball, too.

What superpower would you like to have?

Super speed, probably. I think running really fast would be cool.

What’s a hidden talent that you have?

A hidden talent that I really like is wake surfing. I would say I’m pretty solid at wake surfing with some of my friends.