May 4—Like so many of the juniors on the Owensboro Catholic High School baseball team, Luke Scales was a still-developing freshman in 2019, when the Aces made their way to the 3rd Region Tournament championship game.
Nearly two years later, Scales has evolved into a solid 6-foot-1, 175-pound shortstop-pitcher — a major force for the Aces (15-2), contenders for multiple championships this spring.
A .438 hitter with a team-best eight doubles and 17 RBIs, Scales is also a front-line hurler for coach Derek Hibbs' surging club.
Scales believes Catholic's success hinges on togetherness.
"Over here, we're like a brotherhood, a family," Scales said. "The juniors on this team have been playing together in the summer on the same travel team since we were 8 years old — we pick each other up, we have each other's backs.
"When you're tight like that it helps you in the everyday grind of playing the game. We're committed to each other to do our best for the team, motivate each other, and do whatever it takes to get that W."
Scales was also a starter on the 2021 OCHS basketball team, which reached the 3rd Region Tournament championship game.
"It took a while after basketball season to get completely comfortable at the plate, but I feel very comfortable and confident now," Scales said. "I think our whole team feels that way swinging the bat — everything's clicking for all of us."
In the field, from his shortstop position, Scales works in tandem with another Luke — classmate and second baseman Luke Evans.
"We're best friends, and we worked together every day last summer after the (COVID-19) pandemic hit," Scales said. "We push each other, make each other better — we're like two blood brothers out there playing side by side."
On the mound, Scales concentrates on pitching to contact. This spring, he is 1-1 with a 1.02 earned run average and a team-high three saves.
"Our defense is really strong, so it's my job to pound the strike zone and let the guys behind me do their thing," Scales said. "I throw a fastball, curveball and change-up, but I'm not out there trying to strike every batter out — I focus on throwing the ball over the plate and letting our defense work behind me."
Scales said losing the entire 2020 season to the pandemic has helped the Aces focus on the task at hand.
"Every game could be our final game, so we have to battle every pitch, make the most of every play," Scales said. "We need to stick to our game, believe in what we're doing out there, and take it one game at a time.
"We need to keep building every day, not become satisfied, and keep pushing to climb the ladder of the tournaments we compete in. Our team has a lot of talent and a lot of desire to succeed in the chase to win championships."