April 21 marks the first game of the season for the Thunder Mountain baseball team as it travels to Petersburg to take on the Vikings in its second season as a program. Senior Xavier Dunn, who expects to split time between first base and center field while also logging some innings on the mound, said he’s excited for the season to get underway and impressed with the improved turnout this year.
Dunn, who is one of only two returning seniors, likes fixing cars, aspires to study mechanical engineering at Portland State, and can be found with a book in his hand during his free time.
What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not playing baseball?
“I like to play basketball and football with friends, going to the movies, and I like to read. Reading became a hobby of mine when I had to work and my job was really boring. I didn’t really do very much, so I just sat down and read books. I like to read a lot of different kinds of books.”
What are your academic interests?
“I enjoy P.E. and math. Math is kind of easy for me. It’s not like I’m sitting there bored; I actually learn stuff, and it can be challenging. It’s just easy for me to stay focused on.
“I think I want to be a mechanical engineer, which uses a lot of math. I like cars, I like fixing them and I like being able to figure them out.”
What’s your plan for next year?
“I think I’m going to stay here for a year and go to school at UAS, and then next year, my plan is to go to Portland State. I want to first get a mechanics degree and then work toward a degree in mechanical engineering.”
What’s going to be key for the team to improve on last season’s performance?
“I think we need to work on the fundamentals of the game; make sure we field the ground balls, pick up our signs, move the runners, get the hits that we need and things like that. If we can work on that, I think everything else will come together for us.”
Reflect on your experience playing baseball at Thunder Mountain.
“I love baseball. Last year, I had so much fun, though the preseason’s a little difficult. I really enjoy the sport because it’s a team sport, but it’s also an individual sport at the same time. You can’t win without your team, but your team can’t win without you. When I go up to bat, I’m doing the batting on my own, but I’m trying to help out my whole team when I do it. In baseball, you truly are only as strong as the weakest person on your team. You need to trust everybody to do their job so you can do yours, and I really enjoy that.
“I just like going out with all my friends and having ridiculous times. I have so many fun memories just from last year.”