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Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 4 years ago

Practice Pays Off

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

SARASOTA — Sean Labsan refuses to take a day off.

It’s not in his nature.

The Riverview High senior pitcher and left fielder would take the field every day if he could.

And more often than not, he does.

On the days when Riverview isn’t practicing or playing a game, Labsan can be found in the batting cages at the Rams stadium at Twin Lakes Park, in Sarasota.

Even on Sundays, Labsan will spend hours working on his hitting and pitching mechanics.

“I come out every day and work on the stuff I’m supposed to do before each start,” Labsan says. “I know it’ll pay off, but I just enjoy being on the baseball field.”

The left-hander’s hard work and dedication is paying off in dividends for the Rams. Labsan is 6-1 on the mound and has helped lead Riverview to a 14-1 record so far this season.

Labsan opened the season with a no-hitter against crosstown rival Sarasota. It was the second no-hitter of Labsan’s career. He tossed one last season against district rival Palm Harbor University.

On March 25, Labsan pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out nine in Riverview’s 5-1 victory over Miami Gulliver Prep in the Sarasota Baseball Classic.

Labsan’s lone loss of the season was a 3-2 decision to district rival East Lake March 1. Since then, he’s been a perfect 4-0 on the mound.

“The hardest part is when you have a bad outing and you have to wait four or five days before you get to go back out again,” he says.

Labsan began playing baseball when he was 5 years old and has since developed into one of the area’s premier pitchers.

But pitching hasn’t always come easily to Labsan. As a freshman, inconsistency plagued him.

“I had a hard time throwing strikes,” Labsan says. “I knew I had the potential to do it. I just had to figure it out.”

When he’s not on the mound, Labsan is content contributing at the plate. Labsan has made several big plays with his bat this season, including driving in a season-best five runs on a two-run single, a two-run home run and a groundout to lead the Rams to a 15-2 non-district victory over Cardinal Mooney March 4.

“I enjoy every part of it (baseball),” he says. “I’m not picky. I just like playing.”

Although Labsan enjoys playing left field, he would prefer to be the pitcher.

“I generally have more success pitching,” Labsan says. “I just like pitching because you can be in every play.”

Labsan will continue his baseball career next year at Florida Atlantic University; he committed to the Owls in November.

For now, Labsan is focused on hurling the Rams to a district title and a postseason tournament run.

“We’re doing pretty well,” Labsan says. “We’re playing more as a team this year and working a lot harder than some of the teams (I’ve been on) in the past. And now we have the results.”

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].


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