2020 SPRING SENIORS: Baseball

(photo by Scott Eyre)
(photo by Scott Eyre)

With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling the spring sports season, the seniors of EMU's spring sports teams missed out on their Senior Recognition Day. These young men and women deserve to be honored and celebrated for their years of learning and growing as a Royals student-athlete.

EMU Athletics is running this special series as a way to recognize them, allowing each senior to speak for themselves as well as their coach to share about them.

The fourth article in our series celebrates the baseball team and their seven seniors, John Dudley, Bailey Hall, John Judy, Spencer Laitinen, Justin Parrish, Nate Tomlin, and DJ Williams.

Each one has been a four-year member of the baseball program and all of them have made contributions across the diamond. As some look toward their future endeavors, a few will be putting a Royals uniform back on next spring.

John Dudley 

~ Staunton, Va./Riverheads

What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?

I have learned that you can never give up. Set your mind to what you want to accomplish and maximize your effort to reach your goal. There are many bumps along the way, but how you respond is what you get out of it.

What are your future plans?

I plan to start a career in environmental quality here in the Valley. I am planning on traveling the country and mark locations off my bucket list.

Coach Adam Posey says:

John has been what our program is about since he stepped foot on campus. He has battled through injury and doubt, and worked to come back to help his team. He has provided service and has always been someone we can count on to be at the field ready to go.

 

 
 

 

Bailey Hall 

~ Daleville, Va./James River

What is your favorite memory of being a Royal?

My favorite memory of being a Royal is the number of games we walked off, or beat a team that was expected to beat us. I have seen, and heard, the way teams have begun to respect us over the years and I look forward to seeing the Royals continue building the program up.

What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?

I have learned many lessons from playing baseball, but two that stick out are dealing with adversity, and being a good teammate.

What are your future plans?

I plan to volunteer next year with the Royals as an assistant coach. I also hope to work at EMU in other areas if possible. I will be getting married over the summer and am looking forward to the beginning of that journey as well!

Coach Adam Posey says:

Consistency is one of the most flattering words I can think of to describe a person, and Bailey epitomizes it. From day one, Bailey has been a consistent presence as a baseball player and a person. He has been coachable, hard-working, inquisitive, and a leader. We are very proud of how he has represented our program.

John Judy 

~ Shanks, W.V./Hampshire

What is your favorite memory of being a Royal?

I think my favorite memory as a royal would have to be the multiple walk-off home runs to end the season sophomore year.  Also, just the memories that I have made with my teammates and the times I had with them. 

What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?

I think the biggest thing I have learned about myself is how to battle through adversity and to always work hard.  Baseball is a failure sport and it teaches you how to handle the ups and downs of life.

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to come back and finish what I started, finish my senior year then move on to PT school.

Coach Adam Posey says:

John has been a joy to coach, because he always wants more. He wants to know more about the game, how to help the team, how to lead. In the four years we have had him, John has shown up every single day with the mindset that he wants to get better and will work for it.


Spencer Laitinen 

~ Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton

What is your favorite memory of being a Royal?

I would say my favorite memory as a royal would be the three back-to-back-to back walk-offs. That stretch of three games was an awesome experience and I'll never forget it.

What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?

Something that I have learned about myself during my time as a Royal is that I am able to dig deeper more than ever. With the help of our coaches, I was able to really understand how to challenge myself on the field and off.

What are your future plans?

My plan for the future is to finish my nursing degree while taking advantage of the fifth year opportunity. I am looking forward to playing one more year with the team and to see what we can do when given a whole season.

Coach Adam Posey says:

Spencer is a competitor who wants the ball in big situations. He is extremely smart, and worked to put himself into a position to be a big piece of our bullpen. He decided to come back this year even while balancing a challenging course load so he could finish things out on his terms with his teammates and was lights out for us on the mound. He's been a joy to work with for four years.

Justin Parrish 

~ Yorktown, Va./York

What is your favorite memory of being a Royal?

My favorite memory is the Myrtle Beach trip the team took this past season. It was the closest team I have ever been a part of and everyone was having a good time while playing baseball.

What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?

I learned that I can change and adapt. I felt I was stuck in my ways freshman year, but through the experiences of EMU, I know I can change and adapt to whatever life may throw at me.

What are your future plans?

My future plan is to move back to the Hampton Roads Area and begin to work towards my career goal of Sports Reporting.

Coach Adam Posey says:

Justin will go down as one of my favorite stories of kids that I have coached. The maturity and growth demonstrated by Justin as a teammate and a player is unsurpassed in the time I have been coaching. As a senior, he has stepped up as a leader, and he is going to be successful in anything he does in life. 

 

 

Nate Tomlin 

~ Spring City, Pa./Owen J. Roberts

What is your favorite memory of being a Royal?

My favorite memory about being a Royal would be the three-straight walk-off home runs.  That is something I will probably never see again and something that I will definitely not forget.

What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?

I have learned how to effectively manage time, and prioritize the things that need to get done or completed first.  I also learned a great deal about how mentality and thoughts in your approach to a problem can dramatically change the outcome.

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to start searching for a job in web development.  I thought about going to grad school and using the two years of NCAA eligibility that I have left, but I know it wouldn't be the same as EMU and the bond I have with my teammates.

Coach Adam Posey says:

Nate has been a joy to coach. He has worked hard, accepted whatever role he was given, and tried to help the program in so many facets. As I have gotten to know Nate more, he continues to surprise me by how quick-witted and determined he is. Nate is another guy that will be extremely successful in whatever comes next.

DJ Williams 

~ Newport News, Va./Tabb

What is your favorite memory of being a Royal?

My favorite memory of being a royal was senior year, coming off the mound against Averett after I threw four innings, and Coach Posey asked me if I had one more in me to finish the game. Knowing I was tired I still said yes because I wanted to finish what I started, and the best part about this was my teammates rallying around me and showing their confidence in me to get the job done.

What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?

I have learned perseverance, whether it was my injuries that kept me off the field my first two years, or getting my senior year taken away just as things started to go well. No matter what comes at me, I know I can handle adversity especially when I have a great support system from my teammates and coaches at EMU.

What are your future plans?

I plan to attend Physical Therapy Assistant school in the fall not sure which school yet. As well as marry my fiancé in the summer of 2021.

Coach Adam Posey says:

DJ has had an incredible journey at EMU, from being a two-way guy to start his career, to finishing as a pitcher only that served on our leadership council. His effort against Averett this year at home will go
down in legend. DJ wanted the ball in his hand, and competed like crazy for five innings on a torn hip
labrum to help us win. That's how I'll remember DJ.