Eagle’s Landing Christian rising senior Patrick Busscher spent part of the summer getting ready for next spring’s baseball season playing for an elite travel club that was composed of players from around the country.
When Patrick Busscher takes to the diamond this coming spring for defending region champion Eagle’s Landing Christian, the rising senior hopes to have a new role.
Busscher is being looked to fill the No. 1 pitching position left vacated by the graduation of Kevin Martin, who was the top pitcher in Region 5-A last season.
With such a big role to fill, Busscher decided to increase the competition he faced this summer to become a dominant pitcher on the Class A level. He spent a week in Florida playing for an elite travel club that is composed of players from across the country.
Busscher’s team, So Cal NTT, placed third in the USA 17U Junior Olympics Championship in Jupiter, Fla., in late June. He was on the mound when his team won 8-3 to clinch the bronze medal.
“I felt this summer went real well,” Busscher said. “It was great playing on a team of that caliber. I was able to pitch against some Div. I athletes.”
After watching Martin, who will attend Tennessee Tech this fall, dominate in leading the Chargers to the Class A quarterfinals, Busscher said he had to prepare extra hard to fill ELCA’s top pitching spot.
“Watching Kevin do what he did was special,” Busscher said. “I want to follow in his footsteps. I’m ready to compete. I know I have the potential. As a team, we have the potential to be real good.”
ELCA returns all its starters except Martin.
Chargers coach Doug Campbell said the work Busscher is doing this summer should benefit him this upcoming season. Last season, in addition to pitching, Busscher played first base and was an outfielder.
On the mound in 54 innings, Busscher had an 8-2 record with a 1.56 ERA as he won a couple playoff games for the Chargers.
“We were definitely pleased with Patrick’s season,” Campbell said. “He did a great job. He was very consistent and reliable in three positions. The opportunity will be there for him to take over the primary (pitching) role. We got to have someone and the potential is there.”
After being named to the to the WWBA 18U Perfect Game All-Tournament team this summer in East Cobb, Busscher said he can handle the role as the Chargers’ top pitcher.
“I’ve played a lot of baseball against some good competition,” Busscher said. “I’m going to have a good defense around me.”
Another asset that he is quick to name is starting catcher Cameron Ragsdale, who has been Busscher’s catcher since they were nine. They have played together in the youth and summer leagues and on the high school level.
“Cameron knows me real well,” Busscher said.
But before he takes to the mound this spring, Busscher is rejoining the school’s football team. He took last season off to concentrate on playing fall baseball.
A wide receiver, Busscher will be part of a football team that is favored to compete for the state title this fall.
“This is my senior year, so I wanted to play,” he said. “I really missed playing last season, especially with all the success they had. I’m trying to get back into football mode. Catching the ball is easy, I’m learning the system and the other players have been great at helping me.”