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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
ArlingtonYorktown grad continues pro baseball career

Yorktown grad continues pro baseball career

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As Jake Marshall explained, restarting his professional baseball career this past spring wasn’t initially in the plans and came “absolutely out of nowhere.”

The Yorktown High School graduate spent the 2021 spring and summer season as a backup catcher and pinch hitter for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs team of Waldorf, Md. The Blue Crabs play in the Atlantic League, which is considered the top level of independent minor league baseball.

The league includes some former Major League players.

Marshall, 26, appeared in 36 games with the Blue Crabs. He had 69 at-bats, getting 18 hits and compiling a .261 batting average, with a double and eight RBI. It was the highest level of minor-league ball Marshall has competed in so far. He previously played in lower independent leagues, but did not compete at all in 2020 because of COVID.

At that point, Marshall thought his baseball career was over, as he worked full-time in his construction business instead.

Then, during the late winter of 2021, Marshall was invited by friend, baseball contact and Blue Crabs infielder Kent Blackstone (Marshall High School graduate) to join him for pre-spring-training workouts and drills with the team. Marshall did, as he initially served as a bullpen catcher, but impressed the coaches with his skills and work ethic.

With the team needing catchers, Marshall was invited to participate in spring training and eventually made the team, beating out two other catchers, and saying he “struck lightning.”

“I have to give the credit to Kent Blackstone for getting this started,” Marshall said. “I wasn’t in baseball shape at all, and came to the workouts woefully under-prepared. I had gone 14 months without any baseball work. I was surprised.”

Marshall gave up switch-hitting in the league, only batting from the right side. He produced some big pinch-hits.

“Playing in a league like that was a major step up for me,” Marshall said. “I held my own.”

Marshall is not included on the Blue Crabs’ playoff roster, but has not been released by the team. He has been told he will be invited to the Blue Crabs’ spring training in 2022.

“I will work out and train a lot during the off-season, be ready for spring training this time, and keep my options open,” Marshall said.

Marshall previously played minor-league pro baseball in Australia and out west in the U.S. in the Pecos and Pacific Association leagues. Before this year, his last season of play was in 2019.

In college, Marshall played for the Potomac State junior college team in Keyser, W.Va., then became a bullpen catcher for the Division I University of West Virginia team. He graduated from West Virginia in 2017.

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