For high school seniors participating in spring sports, the coronavirus pandemic denied them a final payoff for their years of hard work and dedication and one final chance to represent their school. The Valley Times-Star has begun recognizing Shippensburg spring sports seniors to give them the Senior Night they were unable to have on the field.
This week’s Senior Night Spotlight is on Bulldog baseball player Tyler Koser.
Tyler was expected to be the ace of the Big Spring pitching staff this season after pitching to a 2.05 earned run average as a junior.
The crafty lefty excels at the mental side of the game, outsmarting hitters on the mound and keeping them off balance with a solid mix of well-located fastballs and a sharp breaking ball.
“What I love about the game is the mental aspect of it,” Tyler noted. “Baseball is 90-percent mental. It is not only a physical game, it tests how strong you are mentally.”
Tyler was introduced to baseball by his father, Scott Koser, when he was just 4 years old. Once he started, he immediately took to it, and has played the sport every year since.
He waited patiently for his chance in the spotlight for the Big Spring varsity squad, and was set to take advantage of it this spring as a leader of a Bulldog team with strong postseason aspirations. Because of the coronavirus, he never got that chance.
“For us seniors [this season] has been really tough,” Tyler said. “It’s been like not waking up from a bad dream. It’s been kind of heartbreaking, but as a team we have to stick together and try to get through it together.”
Tyler also answered the following questions regarding his experiences with the Bulldogs:
What do you love about being a Bulldog?
I love being a Bulldog because of the family aspect of [the team]. These friendships that I make are going to last a lifetime.
Favorite moment as a Bulldog?
Tyler’s favorite moment is from his junior year, a wild and unforgettable comeback victory over rivals Shippensburg at home.
The Bulldogs fell behind to the Greyhounds 6-0 before the skies opened up, resulting in a rain delay. When play resumed the following day, the Bulldogs exploded for 8 runs, including a Brock Piper grand slam to comeback from a 6-run deficit and complete a memorable 8-7 comeback win.
Tyler contributed a run scored and an RBI in the game.
What advice do you have for underclassmen?
Cherish every moment with your teammates, because every year is not guaranteed. You don’t know if you are going to be able to play every year, as we saw this year. Just cherish every moment and enjoy it while you can.
What are your future plans?
Tyler plans on attending Penn State Mont Alto in the fall where he will play baseball for the Nittany Lions and study in the criminal justice field. But before he arrives on campus, Tyler plans on enlisting in the United States Air National Guard this summer.
“I think it is going to be a good experience,” Tyler added. “There are greater things out there to experience than just little ole’ Newville. Also, it will pay for part of my college [tuition], so it works out both ways.”