Perry  Photo

Sophomore catcher Jake Perry is one of a big group of returning lettermen for the Hopkins High baseball team. (SUN STAFF PHOTO BY John Sherman)

If there is one thing Hopkins High baseball coach Jason Mihalakis has learned about sophomore Jake Perry, it is that he can play virtually anywhere on the field.

Perry’s brief history at the varsity and American Legion levels shows that. He was the starting first baseman on the varsity last spring, and then when Legion season came along, Perry moved to shortstop.

The left-handed hitter hopes to add one more position to his resume this season. Mihalakis said recently that Perry will probably catch most of the time.

“My dad was a catcher when he played baseball,” Perry said recently. “I caught most of the time in youth baseball. I like being in control of the game and helping my pitchers.”

Hopkins has an experienced pitching staff this year with seniors Wyatt Nelson, Sam Sikkink, Sam Jones, Nick Kanitz, Will Stein, Calvin Harris and Luke Polyak joining junior Joey Hurth and Miles Halligan.

“As long as we throw strikes, we’ll be pretty good,” Mihalakis predicted. “This is the deepest pitching staff we have had.”

“We have guys who can throw in the high 80s and low 90s,” Perry noted. “Catching for them is a lot of fun.”

While he loves to catch, Perry likes hitting even better.

Asked how he became a left-handed hitter, he said, “That’s the way I started hitting balls in the backyard.”

Mihalakis said, “Jake is a great player and a pure hitter, plus he is very humble. It’s impossible not to love the kid. In the field, he’s so sure-handed. I could put him anywhere on the diamond, and he would do a good job.”

Most of Hopkins’ pitchers play other positions. Hurth and Halligan are likely to see time at the corner infield positions, while Sikkink’s other position is catcher. Nelson and Polyak are outfielders and two of the team’s key hitters.

Senior Luis Felemovicius is the returning starter at shortstop. Juniors Kyle Feduccia and Parker Johnson are infield hopefuls.

When he heard that some of his players were talking about winning the state title this year, a smile came to Mihalakis’ face.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.

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