AFTER a hot start to his 2020 season in the diamond, 15-year-old Nowra Anglican College student Stephen Pearson has had his baseball aspirations put on hold.
On the back of a strong 2019 campaign, which saw him named NAC Sportsperson of the Year, Pearson appeared destined for big things this year.
But the postponement by Baseball NSW of the upcoming Illawarra Baseball League season, as well as cancellation of the NSW All Schools tournament, has left Pearson hoping that his upcoming World Baseball Showcases Colts tour to the United States in June will still take place.
Pearson was selected in the NSWCIS softball and NSWCIS baseball squads for their respective All Schools tournaments - which emulated his brother Andrew's achievements in 2018.
The All Schools baseball event was cancelled but thankfully for Pearson, the softball tournament went ahead - with him shining against the NSW Combined High School team with two outfield catches and two single hits, as well as catching for half the fixture.
"I was very lucky that All Schools softball was held on March 10," Pearson said.
"I was very pleased with how I performed against NSWCHS and NSWCCC.
"After our round robin games, I was chosen to play in a trial for the NSW Schoolboys softball squad.
"I missed selection but as a baseballer playing softball, I was honoured to have been considered for the NSW Schoolboys squad.
"Furthermore, I am disappointed that All Schools baseball was cancelled, but I'm looking forward to making the squad again next year."
After his debut season as a Shoalhaven Mariners Senior in the IBL, Pearson spent the summer playing in the Cronulla Sutherland Junior Baseball League, travelling to Sydney twice a week or more for games and training.
"I really enjoyed playing for Arncliffe Scots," he said.
"Our Senior League team was very talented and we had great coaches.
"We were minor premiers however fell short in the grand final against St Patricks."
In preparation for the grand final, Pearson even left his Year 10 school camp in the Royal National Park to join his team for a training session in Caringbah.
"I take my baseball very seriously, and I've very lucky that my parents are very supportive in helping me achieve my dreams," he said.
Playing most recently as a catcher, Pearson is looking to follow in the footsteps of his brother Andrew as a pitcher.
"Since December, I have been working with pitching consultant Lachlan Hodge at Pontifex Physiotherapy in Sydney," he said.
"I also regularly see Exercise Physiologist Robert Jamieson at BaiMed Nowra, and have been working out at The Gym Bomaderry three times a week.
"However with gyms now closed I'm having to improvise at home."
Especially as Pearson's tour to the US in June is still going ahead at this point.
"I am still preparing to leave for the US on June 21 to take part in the World Baseball Showcases Colts Tour," he said.
"The WBS Colts plays games in front of US college scouts.
"It is my goal to play college baseball and beyond, and the tour would be a great opportunity to develop and show my skills.
"If the tour is cancelled, I'll look at going on the tour in 2021."