Evan Schafer was a mainstay on the Pickerington High School Central baseball team the past three seasons.

Evan Schafer was a mainstay on the Pickerington High School Central baseball team the past three seasons.

Schafer, a 2008 graduate, has continued to contribute to the program's success as he is in his third season with the Pickerington Post 283 American Legion team. Schafer, a pitcher, helped Post 283 get off to a strong start as it was 16-4 overall and 7-0 in District 8 entering last Tuesday's game against Logan Post 78.

"Evan loves the game," coach Chris Weber said. "He's passionate about pitching and just works tirelessly to get better. He is one of the better ones we have. He's already probably pitched as much this summer as he did all spring. He takes the ball every time you want him to have it. He gives you innings on short rest. He's a total team guy and never backs down from a challenge."

Schafer will continue his career at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.

"I didn't really consider any other college," he said. "I took a visit down there and fell in love with it. I felt it was the best fit academically as well as for baseball."

Last spring, the Tigers finished 16-10 overall and tied Worthington Kilbourne for first place in the OCC-Cardinal Division at 7-3. Central lost to Gahanna 18-13 in a Division I district final. Schafer was 4-1 on the mound.

In Schafer's first summer on the team two years ago, Post 283 finished 43-9 overall and settled for third in the state after falling to eventual champion Beverly-Lowell Post 389/750 10-7. Last summer, Post 283 finished 35-18 overall and 7-3 (third) in the league behind champion Athens Post 21.

Schafer played a key role on both successful teams.

"He stepped up last year and really gave us some solid performances, and because he's going to college this year, I've tried to put him as many different situations as I could," Weber said. "Tough situations. Bases loaded, one out, whenever we're in a jam because he's good enough to get us out of it and he's mentally tough enough to not let the situation dictate his own emotional involvement. He doesn't get shook. He's the same kid whether he's up 8-0 or down 8-0.

"Three years later, he's emerged as a college-bound pitcher that's going to make the guys at Limestone very happy to have him."

Schafer works on his game year-round, and he had a 3.8 GPA as a senior.

"Evan Schafer is as good as you will ever meet, ever find," Weber said. "When you have kids of your own, you would be proud to have them grow up just like him."

Last weekend, Post 283 finished 4-2 in the Steubenville tournament, dropping its final game to Coshocton 22-10 in six innings last Sunday.

"We play a lot of games and the hard part is making sure that you're always mentally prepared to play every day," Weber said. "Ninety-five percent of our kids were excited and ready to play, but it's that five percent that can cost you. Everybody has to be on the same page.

"You may go out and not have your best day and that's OK. We'll move on, but we had designs of being in the championship and that five percent cost us that chance."