Athlete sat out junior year

For The Tribune

Nick Marling stepped away from playing baseball his junior season at Brownstown Central.

He missed it so much that he decided to come out his senior year, and he has been a big contributor to the Braves’ success.

Marling has been the Braves’ starting first baseman, and he has done some pitching and played in left field.

“I’d probably have to say first base is my favorite,” he said, adding that he feels confident about digging low throws out of the dirt. “You’re always active, and you always have to be ready for anything, and I like being outside.

“Communication is very important because you have to know what to do in certain situations. You have to call out who is going to catch pop-ups so they don’t collide and someone gets injured. You have to let them know how far apart they are.”

On the mound, Marling has acted as a relief pitcher.

“I usually don’t worry about the runners unless they’ve got big leadoffs,” Marling said. “I just focus on home plate and throw strikes.”

He said he has confidence in his pickoff move to first base.

He said he has four pitches — fastball, curveball, slider and change-up.

“It’s pretty important to throw a strike on the first pitch,” Marling said. “You always want to get ahead in the count.”

Marling has been batting either third, fourth or fifth throughout the season. He said when he goes up to bat, he tries to drive the ball.

The senior hit his first home run of the season recently against Austin.

“I like pitches right down the middle,” Marling said. “First pitch, sometimes, I expect a fastball, but if you’re batting third, you’re looking for off-speed.”

Marling said it was a valuable experience playing travel ball for the past several summers with Indianapolis teams.

The Braves are 12-2 on the season and 5-1 in Mid-Southern Conference play.

Marling said for the Braves to keep winning, they need to stay focused.

“We’ve just got to keep playing hard and be aggressive at the plate and on the field and make sure the balls don’t get past you,” Marling said.

He said he works hard in practice every day.

“Practice is very important because it helps you get better so you’ll be ready for situations that you’d never think you’d be in,” Marling said. “The mental part of sports is also huge. You don’t want your teammates to get down on themselves or they’re just going to keep making errors, so you always want to keep them up so they can correct what they did wrong.”

On the calendar, Marling knows the road gets more competitive moving forward.

“The competition is getting tougher as the season goes on,” Marling said. “We’re playing harder teams, and we’ve got to be ready for them. My teammates are great. I know they’ve got my back when I need them.”

Marling said he has enjoyed attending BCHS.

“I’ve enjoyed going to school in my hometown,” he said. “It’s where my mom went to school and my uncle, so I just like being here where I know everybody. We have great teachers, and they’re always supportive and always help you when you need it.”

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Name: Nick Marling

School: Brownstown Central

Parents: Jerry and Terri Marling

Sibling: Jessica

Sports: Baseball, three years

Organizations: Choir, Sportsman’s Club

Plans after high school: Attend Vincennes University, study law conservation

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite team: Cincinnati Reds