MSD varsity baseball team starts season with 8-0 undefeated record in their campaign for third consecutive national championship


Addison Parker

Infielder Devin Fitz-Gerald enters his stance before a play while watching the opposing runner of the West Broward High School Bobcats. The MSD varsity baseball team defeated the Bobcats 10-0.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School varsity baseball season is underway, and the Eagles started with a 8-0 record to the season. After becoming national champions in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons, the MSD Eagles hope to contend for their third consecutive title.
So far, the Eagles have beaten every school they’ve played including, Coral Springs Charter, West Broward High, J.P. Taravella High, Doral Academy, Miami Springs Senior High, Deerfield Beach High, Miller School of Albemarle and Monsignor Edward Pace High School.
With Todd Fitz-Gerald at the helm for the 2023 season, the team is led by an experienced coach. Fitz-Gerald is going into his 13th season as head coach for MSD, having three national championship rings to his name.
Every season, Fitz-Gerald holds his players to a high standard every year by expecting the best from his players on and off the field.
“I count on my players to participate in certain community service or fundraising projects, such as the annual Rizzo Walk at Pine Trails Park, where they can be involved in the community,” Fitz-Gerald said.
With the departure of key players from the previous two years’ campaigns, Fitz-Gerald turned to his younger, less experienced players to fill in the gaps left behind. Coming into the 2023 season, the team lost two of its three most used starting pitchers in pitcher and outfielder Jake Clemente and pitcher and right fielder Chris Arroyo, who are both currently attending and playing for the University of Florida.
The team looks to new talented pitchers, including Jayden Dubanewicz (27), who has made two starts for the Eagles so far and won both games, and Brayden McCluskey (5), who has served a middle relief role for the team. Center fielder Alex Rodriguez (13) has stepped into a big role, consistently batting in the lead-off spot for the Eagles in every game so far. He has found success in the new role, showing off his power and speed in all six of the Eagles’ wins.
Players have also set goals for the team, as well as individually, for the rest of the spring season.
“I’m hoping that I can be a varsity player by the end of the season and help fight for another championship,” junior varsity catcher and outfielder Jake Rizzo (22) said.
Before the start of the season, both the junior varsity and varsity rosters came together to make a statement, bleaching their hair bright blonde. The players and coaches felt this was a great way to build relationships on and off the field.
“I love that everyone [dyed their hair] this year,” utility player Riley Mudlin (26) said. “It really feels like team chemistry is much stronger than it has ever been.”
Some of the team’s success can be owed to the additional efforts they made to build up chemistry. For example, both teams have been working on their chemistry by going to play other sports recreationally together, like basketball, as well as going out to eat after practices.
The team looks to have yet another fantastic season and make another push for a national championship. The team believes that their chemistry is built up and that they are filled with skilled players in order to make MSD history by winning their third national championship in a row.