Before he graduated as a member of the Washington High School Class of 2019, Bailey Roberts declared his college intention in a ceremony in the lobby of the school’s gymnasium.
Roberts will attend Ohio Christian University in Circleville, where he will continue his education and his baseball career.
“Really, I had no idea,” Roberts said, speaking of the beginning of his search for a school to attend.
“I visited Marietta College,” Roberts said. “I visited Wittenberg University. Mostly I was looking at smaller colleges where maybe I could play baseball.
“I missed my entire junior year of baseball with an injury,” Roberts said. “I broke a finger on my left hand.
“This year was kind of rough for me,” Roberts said. “For the whole team. It came as a really big blessing to me. After we lost our last game, I visited Ohio Christian. I really loved the coach. I loved the program. I visited for a few games. I watched them play Rio (Grande). I know they are N.A.I.A. (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), so I’d get a lot more maybe scholarship money, too, going there.
“A major wasn’t a big thing going into college,” Roberts said. “I still have no idea really what I want to do. I’m thinking about going into their sports management and maybe business program, which has a broad spectrum, I’m thinking. Other than that, I really don’t know.
“It’s a real small college,” Roberts said. “The student body is not very large. I went to Southern State Community College, too. Most of the classes were set up with 11 kids in a class. I think (Ohio Christian) has a 14 to 1 student to faculty ratio there.”
Washington played the No. 9 team in the state (Sheridan) in the tournament, falling 2-1. The Blue Lions finished the season with a record of 7-18.
“They’re nothing crazy, for being No. 9 in the State,” Roberts said. “We held in there with them. We battled. A lot of the seniors weren’t as sad, because we gave it our all. We left it all out there on the field. There’s nothing else that could be said, or done. We did our best.”
Roberts suffered the loss of his father, Seth Roberts, on April 26.
“Without my team, without my teammates and my family and my friends, I couldn’t have done any of this,” Roberts said. “In all of my dad’s letters, he would always write, ‘Bailey, always know this and keep this first in your mind; God goes first, people second, Grams (grandmother) third and myself last.’ And that’s how I’ve always looked at life. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I can’t imagine where I would be or what I would be without them, especially my grandmother. They don’t call her Susan, me and my coaches call her Grams. She’s known as Grams. I call her Gramsy, everyone else calls her Grams.”
Roberts participated in multiple sports growing, up, including wrestling, football and soccer.
“I think I became serious about baseball in the seventh grade,” Roberts said. “That’s all I did; summer, spring, even winter, I would go inside.”
“I remember my sophomore year, going to (Ohio University, for the District tournament), playing with those guys, the senior guys, coming up my first time on varsity,” Roberts said. “That was a lot of fun. When it’s down to, you know, you could be out that game, and you’re going that far, it’s just like, wow, this could be it, or we could go even farther. We can be huge.
“Some of the best memories I have are just running around with the guys, working together,” Roberts said.
“I want to thank God first,” Roberts said. “My coach, Mark Schwartz; coach (Brandon) Runk, coach Buff Mustain. Honestly, you couldn’t ask for better coaches. They’ve done so much for the program. Our record is not a mirror image of what they did for us. We tried our hardest and they gave us every opportunity to perform at our highest level, which is all you can ask for in a coach.
“I want to thank my grandma and my mother,” Roberts said.
“I was a CCP (college credit plus) student this year, so, I went to Southern State Community College,” Robert said. “My favorite subject I’ve ever taken, throughout my educational career, was film. I took a film class there. I’ve always loved films. It was really cool. There’s a lot of symbolic meaning in film and I just really loved to study it. I love to watch movies. That’s one of my other loves, besides baseball, watching movies.”
“I like them all pretty much, but my favorite would either be Coach (Louis) Reid, he’s the physical education/health teacher or Mr. (Marlin) Ellis,” Roberts said.
“First of all, Bailey’s a great kid and he comes from a great family,” Washington head baseball coach Mark Schwartz said. “He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve seen here in the last four or five years. He was always in the weight room the last few years. He came to every off-season workout. If he missed one, it was always school-related. He always came to extra stuff when we offered it.
“His hard work has paid off because he’s going to play college baseball,” Schwartz said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s a perfect example of how hard work pays off. He’s got to go earn it. He asked me earlier when the high school guys start working out so he can come and work with them until he goes to Ohio Christian in the fall.
“He’s a perfect role model for our younger guys and hopefully they paid attention and learned from him,” Schwartz said.
Roberts was First Team, All-FAC (Frontier Athletic Conference) and Honorable Mention, All-District for baseball in 2019.