Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

The waiting is the hardest part. For every game you see one more lineup card, you take a pitch on faith or you try to take it yard. The waiting is the hardest part. West Chester first baseman Mark Gilliford probably has been listening to Tom Petty’s classic for the last week and a half. waiting.

Last Saturday versus Nyack College, the senior hit a screamer down the line clipping the top of Serpico Stadium’s leftfield wall, bouncing over by inches for his third home run of the season.

The miraculous shot meant more than just another run for West Chester, because it tied the school record for career home runs.

“I’d say that it is a nice individual honor to have knowing of all the great players that have played for West Chester,” Gilliford said of his 23rd homerun. “Now to have my name with them is something I take pride in.”

Everyone has been waiting for No. 24, but Gilliford has not hit a home run in a week. Truly, waiting is the hardest part.

Gilliford now has just over 200 innings left to claim the school record single-handedly. It seems like an easy task, but hitting home runs is never easy, especially when it’s all you think about.

Twice in the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the ball off the bat of Gilliford looked close to leaving Serpico stadium and being enshrined in West Chester history, but fell only feet short of going yard.

It’s a lot of pressure to put on any man’s shoulders as his team, fans and opponents gaze their eyes on what could happen on any swing of the bat.

But Gilliford is a team first player. “The best part is that the home runs came in the context of team success over the last four years,” Gilliford added. “[Especially] with the team having some of its’ best years in school history.”

In the doubleheader, Gilliford didn’t homer but helped his team as he went 3-for-7 with an RBI and three runs scored and lead the team in RBIs with 18.

Last year, Gilliford shattered the single season home run record with 12 home runs.

“I hope there will be many more [home runs] to follow this year as we have continued success,” Gilliford continued.

Gilliford is just left waiting for the day to come as he helps his teammates try to win a PSAC championship and more.

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