Rueben Livingston was one of the most feared batters in last year’s Berks Baseball League.
He was an all-barks selection with six home runs leading the league and the team’s best 25 RBIs for District 3 Class 6A Champion Wilson.
Veteran coach Sal Raccuglia has never seen a batter like him during the 11 seasons with the bulldog. He has seen even fewer players lead the team like Livingston.
“I’ve never seen this from anyone,” Raccuglia said. “He’s on the move. He’s fully invested in our program. No one has done this so far. Wow. As coaches, how can we welcome him here? Always talk about what’s important. “
The 6-4, 225-pound Livingston is Wilson’s cornerstone and why the Bulldog wants to fight Governor Mifflin in the Burks I and League Championships.
He moved to Wilson after the freshman season in Mifflin and before the 2020 season was canceled due to a pandemic. He committed to Kent State University in August 2020 before playing the Bulldog innings.
Livingston made up for the lost time last year and helped the bulldog win the district title 22-3 by hitting .393 with a ridiculous 1.407 OPS.
He wants to drop 10 pounds to speed up and be more selective on the plate.
“I want to stay calm and find a pitch to drive,” Livingston said. “When I’m very calm this year, I find a pitcher’s mistake and drive baseball. I’m good at hitting the outer curve ball. I’m back and hold my hand through baseball.”
Livingston played first baseman last year and splits the time between first and third basemen who are expected to play at Kent State University.
He will also be one of Wilson’s starting pitchers, along with Cole Lehman to Lehi and sophomore left-handed Matt Van Ostembridge. After being unable to pitch a year ago due to shoulder problems, Livingston seemed more excited to talk about his arms than his bat.
“I actually threw my first match at Myrtle Beach,” he said of Wilson’s pre-season trip last week. “This was the first game I started in about two years. I usually come out of the bullpen with a summer ball and throw one or two innings. I didn’t throw much last year.
“It was great to be able to go out and control the game. I forgot how much I liked it.”
Livingston spends a lot of time away from playing baseball in the gym five or six times a week. For the past nine months he has focused on strengthening his shoulders, adding considerable bulk to his upper body.
“He would have been able to pitch for us in the last few weeks of last season,” Raccuglia said. “We could have put him there, but I still didn’t think he was completely healed.”
“He worked hard in the off-season. You can see how big he was. He lost 10 pounds but gained a lot of muscle.”
Only Livingston and Lehman have returned from last season when the Bulldog played more than eight games on average, including eight seniors.
Livingston enjoyed big moments in some big games. He hit a home run, ran three runs in the Burks semifinals, and advanced to 2-2 with 2 RBIs and 4 RBIs in the district finals.
Livingston does not get the protection he had when he batted in front of Luke Holman and Ralph Bryant, who are playing jointly in Alabama and Bryant respectively in 2021. He needs to adjust to reduce the number of fastballs he hits.
“He has to be more patient,” Raccuglia said. “Last year, Holman and Carlo struck behind him, so they had to pitch to him. You had to choose your own poison. Some teams pitched more around him. I think he might. He must receive what they have given him. “
Livingston said he wanted to spray the ball on all fields and get more on the base to speed up.
“Last year’s power wasn’t there,” he said. “I feel that closing the gap, getting on the base and putting as much pressure on the defense as possible will help us win the game.”
According to his coach, so is his leadership.
“It’s such maturity,” Raccuglia said. “He’s been taken to really young kids. They respect him. When he’s not in the game, he helps their swing and talks to them about the field. There are separate trainings for grades and levels, he’s all of them, and he exists. “
“These kids respect him incredibly. It helped our program from top to bottom.”
Ruben Livingston will lead the Wilson baseball team in every respect
Source link Ruben Livingston will lead the Wilson baseball team in every respect