Evan McLennan has three favorite things: baseball, baseball and baseball. If pressed for a fourth, he may add pizza, as in, "I like to eat pizza after a baseball game."
The 8-year-old Little Leaguer is impressing his friends and family with his skills on the diamond. Though he's the youngest on his team, he has a solid reputation as a top-notch player.
Mark Scarpaci, who coached Evan in both T-ball and Little League, said he is one of the most impressive players he's worked with.
"Evan is one of the most dedicated and motivated kids I've ever seen," he said. "He's very methodical and focused, but he's also a real spark plug. He's just fun to have on the team."
The sparky ball player is currently participating in the Little League's Fall Ball program. He was happy to talk to the Daily Tidings and share his love of the game.
DT: What school do you go to?
EM: I was home-schooled for first- and second-grade, but in September I'll start at Bellview, in the third-grade.
DT: Talk about being home-schooled.
EM: Home-schooling was fun, and if we did all our work quick and we listened, we could be finished by 2 o'clock and go to the skate park. I'm excited about going to Bellview because I get to be with my friends.
DT: What are your favorite subjects in school?
EM: Math and reading. I'm doing fourth-grade math. My favorite is the times tables. I haven't memorized all of them, but it is fun and different.
DT: What do you like to do outside of school?
EM: Baseball. I play baseball with my team, with my dad, or I go to my friends' houses and play with them.
DT: What position do you play?
EM: Usually, I pitch, but I also play catcher and shortstop, too.
DT: What do you like most about the game?
EM: Striking people out and getting good, solid base hits.
DT: What do you like least?
DT: What do you want to do when you grow up?
EM: I'd like to be a baseball player, pitch for the Dodgers. Oh yes.
DT: Talk about something you have done that makes you proud.
EM: I hit a single, double and a triple in one game.
DT: Any advice for kids your age who want to play baseball?
EM: Anyone who wants to be a pitcher should practice a lot. If you can, play catch with your dad or your brother or your friends. I play with my brothers and my dad coaches me, too.
DT: Talk about something that is challenging for you.
EM: I'm on a team with older kids. I'm proud of that, too. I'm the youngest, but I play with 12-year-olds. It can be hard though, playing against older kids. Hitting off a 12-year-old is hard; they throw fast.
DT: Talk about someone in your family who makes you proud.
EM: My little brother. I like playing baseball with him and I like that he likes it, too.