Baseball program fights against cancer

Rian Ratnavale

Members of the varsity baseball team are teaming up with the Vs. Cancer Foundation to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Shirts with the logo of the foundation were sold on the quad on Feb. 19.

This will mark the third consecutive year that Harvard-Westlake has partnered with the initiative, after former player Chris Robinson ’13 died in 2011 due to leukemia. The team members shaved their heads in tribute to him Feb. 21.

“We want to raise awareness for youth cancer, and more research dollars means finding a cure faster,” said infielder Nico Mannucci ‘17, who has raised $880.” We’re shaving our heads to show solidarity with those brave kids undergoing cancer treatment.”

People can donate under the individual names of players on the team on the Vs. Cancer Foundation website, where they can track which players have raised the most money throughout the year. So far, outfielder Jonathan Seymore ’16 and catcher Tom Fuller ’15 lead the team with $2,640 and $1,600 raised, respectively.

As of Feb. 23, the Wolverines have surpassed their original goal of $6,000 for this year by raising $10,996, bringing their two year total to over $20,000.

“[Chris Robinson’s death] really affected all of us in the baseball program,” Harvard commit and starting second baseman Chase Aldridge ’15 said to the crowd during halftime of the basketball team’s matchup with Loyola Jan. 23. “Since then, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to try and fight to prevent diseases from impacting others in the future.”

In the 2014 season, the squad ranked 32nd in the United States, according to PerfectGame’s rankings, despite a second-round CIF Southern Section Division I playoff loss.

This year’s team will begin its season Feb. 28 with a home matchup against Village Christian in pool play of the Easton Tournament. Harvard-Westlake won the tournament in 2014, going 5-0 with a 6-3 victory over West Ranch in the title game.