WESTERN SPRINGS — Baseball is a sport that has been passed down the generations, but for Lyons Township senior Stewart Nelson, he is the baseball trailblazer in his family.
Nelson will play Division I baseball at Evansville next year despite being the first in his immediate family to play it.
His older brother played youth baseball, but didn’t play in high school. Nelson stuck with it because he had success with it from a young age.
“It was pretty much the thing I was best at," Nelson said. "I started working at it and I learned to enjoy it even more now.”
Nelson currently enjoys playing shortstop for the Lions. The leadership and activity of the position attracted him to the spot. His quickness and athleticism made it a good fit.
“It’s a lot of leadership and you take control of the game,” Nelson said. “I like playing the infield a lot. We get a lot of action. You have to be ready every pitch.”
The Lions haven’t been firing off on all cylinders in every game so far. LT dropped a conference series to Downers Grove North and lost the first game of the series against Glenbard West on Saturday before taking the next two from the Hilltoppers.
Nelson, who credited an offseason showcase with getting him noticed by the coaches at Evansville, also hasn’t been at his best. He is hitting .286, not what one might expect from a Division I recruit.
“He’s doing OK,” said LT coach George Ushela. “We haven’t played to our ability yet.
“We’ve had sloppy play and not timely offensive hitting. We’ve had guys on base, but we haven’t produced.”
Nelson notched an RBI in each of the first two games of the series and thinks the bats are coming around. LT scored 17 runs in the three games against the Hilltoppers.
“This weekend we started hitting the ball pretty well. We started to come together as a team. We had a team meeting and we started to figure things out and realize we have a lot of potential on this team.
“We always end up doing well in the playoffs, but we’ve really got to start working at it.”