Centerfielder Connor McDonough prepares to hang his hat after his second and final season of playing for the Hudson Valley Vikings baseball team.
McDonough first picked up baseball at age four and hasn’t stopped playing since.
“I’ve always been around sports, especially baseball and softball,” said McDonough. “That’s all my life really is, just sports.”
McDonough graduated from Lansingburgh High School in 2014 and decide to continue his education at Hudson Valley. He added the choice to come to Hudson Valley was fairly easy because his siblings had also gone to HVCC in the past.
McDonough attributes his love for baseball to his dad, Tim McDonough, who also has a love for baseball.
“He is the main reason why I play,” said McDonough.
In his free time, McDonough mentioned that he works for the athletic department by manning the scoreboard for the other teams at Hudson Valley. In the offseason he spends his time playing for the Albany Twilight League.
According to McDonough, it’s a joy to play for the baseball team.
“We have the best chemistry I’ve ever had while playing for a team,” said McDonough. “We all just get along, nobody dislikes anybody on the team. Every day is enjoyable going into practice,” he said.
When going into games, McDonough stresses going in with a clear mindset.
“Try to forget everything and relax so you can stay really focussed on the game,” he said.
Head coach Alex Jurczynski, emphasizes that McDonough is a well rounded individual both on and off the field.
“He leads by example,” said Jurczynski. “He’s a very good student, everything he does is to a T.”
Jurczynski also added that he sometimes lets McDonough run the outfield drills with the team.
“I don’t have to worry about him not doing the right things,” said Jurczynski.
“It [Baseball] was my first love,” said McDonough. “Now I’m losing the competitive part of the game and coming to reality. Giving up that dream as a little leaguer is devastating.”
Upon graduation in just a few weeks, McDonough plans on going out into the workforce to find a job connected to his major, electrical construction.
“I’d like to see him go to a four year school, but I think he’s set on going into the workforce,” said Jurczynski. “He’s just a joy to coach.”
Jurczynski also added that he’s seen a huge change with McDonough between the two years he has coached his team.
“He’s made some really good plays in the outfield that have saved us a lot of runs,” he said.
On the other side of the plate McDonough leads by example. He’s currently batting .400 with a .506 on base percentage. Last year he was the team’s leadoff hitter and this year he bats near the top of the order.
“He’s that one piece that completes the team,” said Jurczynski. “He’s an all-around good kid and without him we wouldn’t be where we are.”