Baseball: Central Crossing Comets' Marquise Loring makes smooth transition to varsity

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
In his first varsity season, junior Marquise Loring has led Central Crossing at the plate and on the mound. His quick adjustment included a .403 batting average and a 3.61 ERA through 18 games.

Central Crossing baseball coach Scott Todd has been amazed by the way junior Marquise Loring has adjusted to varsity competition this spring.

Todd wasn’t surprised by Loring’s abilities, but how quickly Loring made the transition from the j.v. level.

Through 18 games, Loring led the Comets both at the plate and on the mound. He was tops on the squad in batting average (.403), hits (25) and RBI (16) while also scoring 16 runs and having nine doubles and eight stolen bases. As a pitcher, he was 4-2 with a 3.61 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 15 walks in 42 2/3 innings.

“Right now, Marquise is our top pitcher and he’s been hitting in the No. 2 hole for us,” said Todd, whose team was 10-8 overall and 5-4 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Groveport on May 6. “You look at his overall production, he’s been great. He doesn’t get a lot of RBI as a No. 2 hitter, but he’s aggressive when he gets on base.

“He’s made a quick adjustment to varsity. A lot of kids didn’t play freshman or j.v. baseball last year (because the season was canceled), but facing varsity pitching is very different. A lot of players have had to make that adjustment, and some of the players are starting to acclimate at a faster rate than we expected. Marquise is definitely one of those players.”

Loring attended Franklin Heights as a freshman but moved to Central Crossing as a sophomore. Missing last season was difficult, but he has been able to make the transition from j.v. baseball with the Falcons to varsity play with the Comets.

“It was a big difference seeing the high-velocity pitchers (on varsity),” said Loring, who plays shortstop and second base when not on the mound. “I just had to start my timing a lot quicker, and I went to the cages and was hitting (balls) at a higher velocity.”

Loring throws three pitches — fastball, slider and change-up. He said the slider has been his out-pitch, but that could change.

“My slider is my most effective pitch right now, but I’ve been working on my change-up this year with (pitching) coach (Jim Habermehl),” he said. “My slider has been very effective.

“I would always be working with our catchers to get ready for this year. I’ve had the same catcher with me for multiple years, Quintin Amon, who I’ve played summer ball with for a few years.”

Todd said Loring has been able to locate his pitches, which is important for any high school pitcher.

“Marquise has a good fastball, and he knows where to place it,” Todd said. “He also has developed a good change-up. If you’re a high school pitcher that can get three pitches over the plate, you’ll do well.

“The interesting thing about him is that he’s never been put in the role as a starting pitcher before this season. I guess he’d pitched an inning here and there out of relief, but he didn’t know how to pitch. He was more of a thrower, but he’s done a great job.”

Loring said he tries to be aggressive at the plate and works on putting himself in the cleats of the pitcher.

“I like to attack the first-pitch fastball,” he said. “If I see a first-pitch fastball, I’m going to swing as hard as I can and try to put it in play. If I get behind (in the count), I start sitting off-speed and try to adjust to the curveball.

“I always try to put myself in the position of what I would do if I was the pitcher. If I have an 0-2 count, I’m thinking about maybe getting a high fastball or maybe trying to get me to chase a curve. I try to keep in mind what I’d do on the mound.”

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