Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) came into his second year of baseball at EMU ready to work.
“Working hard has been my mindset ever since I chose to play baseball because I want to be the best and play hard for my teammates/brothers,” Jaylon said.
Jaylon had a big-time double-header against Penn State-Altoona, hitting .714 (5-for-7). His two-run homer in the opening game pushed momentum in favor of his team, as EMU came away with two wins.
Jaylon was proud of his play over the weekend, but took it with a grain of salt.
“I don’t like to get too happy about my play anymore because baseball is a game of ups and downs,” he said.
He mentioned Tuesday’s game against CNU, in which he went 0-3 at the plate.
“I still kept my emotions even keel like as if I just went 5-7 again,” he said. “I’ve learned from all of my coaches here that riding the ups and downs of this game just brings you down in the long run, so they tell me to keep my head high no matter what.”
For Jaylon, it’s more about the team as a whole than individual success.
“Tyler McFadden (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) went 1-1 with two walks on the day,” he said, “which was a great game for him and it’s exciting to see everyone succeed as a team versus just one person caring about their own stats.”
This is a new perspective for Jaylon as he enters his second year of collegiate baseball.
“The game has definitely slowed down a lot for me this year and I’m able to enjoy the game more realizing that it’s not about stats,” he said. “It’s about giving my all every game no matter the outcome and knowing we fought hard as a team.”
Jaylon spent the summer playing baseball in New York for Niagara Power.
“The Power has nothing but great things to offer from housing to feeding us, to the clubhouse, to the great coaching staff we had also. It’s always fun to get out and see other talent that comes from so many different states and countries.”
He plans to return this summer.
Head Coach Ben Spotts noted Jaylon’s dedication to the sport.
“Jaylon is an exciting player who continues to grow everyday in our program,” he said. “He continues to show what he is capable of and how dynamic of a player he can be. Jaylon works extremely hard year-round to be the best player possible.”
Jaylon first started playing baseball when he was just three years old, watching his older brother’s tee-ball game. However, that only lasted a few years because his father preferred football. It wasn’t until his freshman year of high school that Jaylon rejoined a baseball team.
“The minute I stepped back on that field I knew baseball was the love of my life and I wanted to continue playing through college at least,” Jaylon said, “So that’s what I did.”
It was a challenge for him to pick up baseball at the high school level after not playing for so many years.
“Throughout the years I got better and better because of coaching and working hard myself. So it has been a journey for me to reach the college level but I just thank the man upstairs that I was able to achieve it!”
For Jaylon, the decision to come to EMU has been the best one of his life.
“This coaching staff is like no other!” Jaylon said. “They push us to new limits and keep our heads up so that mistakes don’t take us out of our game but become learning curves to us. I have also been able to develop so much more skill as a baseball player being under their guidance.”
Coach Spotts expects to see continued growth in Jaylon.
“I am excited for the start he is off to this season,” he said, “and look forward to the impact he can continue to make this year and in the future for EMU Baseball.”
Jaylon’s goals for this season include hitting above .300 and having a good on-base percentage.
“But most of all not worry about my stats at all but to just continue to grow and play the game I love so much,” he said. “And of course as a team to make it to the ODAC Tournament and win it all.”
He also has a vision for EMU as a whole.
“I want this school to be a go-to by the time my class graduates here. EMU is an amazing school that needs to be put on the map!”
-- by Elizabeth Nisly, EMU Sports Information Writing Intern