Nicholas Blakeney said this year’s Liberty baseball team is “young” and “selfless.”
With the sophomore Blakeney leading the way, those characteristics were on display as the Patriots won five games in three days at the Blazer Bash tournament.
Blakeney went 2-for-4 with four RBIs during Liberty’s 11-8 win over Green Valley last Wednesday in the championship game of the Blazer Bash tournament. For his efforts, he was named Nevada Preps Boys Athlete of the Week.
“(Green Valley) played well, but we played better,” Blakeney said. “They’re our rivals, so we have to play well against them. It’s good to get these early tournament victories. It was my first one, and it was for a lot of us, so we’re feeling confident.”
Blakeney — who pitches, plays first base and the outfield — had seven hits and seven RBIs during the Patriots’ five wins last week during the tournament.
“It felt like the ball was just a beach ball,” Blakeney said, “it felt nice and big.”
While Blakeney was a force at the plate, he came up with a crucial win on the mound in a 7-4 win over Shadow Ridge last Tuesday. He tossed 6 ⅓ innings and allowed one earned run with four strikeouts.
On the mound, Blakeney said his mentality is to focus on how to get the batter out while maintaining a high level of confidence.
“That’s how you have to think against Shadow Ridge because they’re a pretty good hitting team,” Blakeney said.
After winning the tournament, Blakeney said Liberty’s confidence is high. He said that confidence will be helpful as the Patriots look to make a run in the playoffs.
“We want to put our name out there, show what Liberty can do, that we’ll be here for a while,” Blakeney said.