Oak Hill senior Gavin Rawstron throws a pitch against Mt. Abram in Wales last month. The next day, Rawstron pitched a no-hitter against Lisbon. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Pitcher Gavin Rawstron’s stamina earned him the admiration of his coaches — and his endurance on the mound continues to baffle batters this season.

The senior Oak Hill pitcher’s frenetic schedule includes playing baseball year-round, participating in three sports and maintaining solid grades for the past four years.

He throws hard and smart and has a tendency of growing stronger each inning — and he enjoys all the leadership responsibilities that come with being the Raiders’ ace. Baseball is indeed his favorite sport.

“Gavin is an extremely hard worker,” Oak Hill baseball coach Chad Stowell said. “He is the type of kid that will do anything you ask him to do if it is going to make him and his team successful. 

“He’s played for a lot of coaches, and sometimes when you coach some of those guys, sometimes it can be difficult for them to listen to other coaches because they are used to having other guys instruct them.”

Stowell points out that Rawstron, who also was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Oak Hill football team, is not that kind of athlete; he follows instructions and welcomes advice.

“He is the type of kid that you want your kids to play with,” Stowell said. “And as a coach, he is the type of kid that you want to coach. He is a great student. 

“He has always been a straight-line type of guy and gets along with his teammates. He carries the burden right now of a leader. I think he carries it responsibly, and sometimes I wish he could lighten up a little bit. He can also be hard on himself. He has been a pleasure to coach in baseball and in football.”

Playing a full schedule was certainly on Rawstron’s wish list after COVID-19 put the kibosh on the 2020 spring sports season.

The pitcher is grateful “to get back to an almost a normal routine with our spring baseball.”

“We were supposed to be pretty good last year, when we lost the season,” Rawstron said. “It is just a bummer losing a sport that I love to play. You still have COVID things come up, where you lose players and lose defensive games, but it is nice to get back to a normal life (and) have a schedule where you can count on the games and have my last season.

“I am very excited to play. We’ve got a great team this year. We have two really good coaches that I have been working with every day.”

TRAVELING MAN

Playing year-round baseball also helped Rawstron maintain his focus and keep his spirits high when the pandemic hit.

“I focused a lot on the offseason on becoming a better pitcher,” Rawstron said. “I did pitching clinics down at Hitters Count in Saco, Maine. I love putting in the effort.  That was huge for me to have my travel coaches to be able to be there when we lost our season. They were always there. They always had the facility open.”

Oak Hill pitcher Gavin Rawstron threw a no-hitter against Lisbon last month in Wales. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Stowell said Rawstron has added weight and muscle, which also explains why the pitcher is capable of lasting a full game.

“He has really focused the last couple of years on his change-up and his off-speed stuff because he knows that’s what he needs to have to be successful when he goes to USM next year,” Stowell said. “That has become a real weapon, too … I think he wears hitters out because there is no quit. He is really built to be a starting pitcher.”

When he is not on a diamond, a basketball court or the gridiron at the high school, Rawstron juggles his schedule to make room to play for the Southern Maine River Rats in Saco.

“I played for their 18U Showcase team this year, but I have been playing for them the last four years” Rawstron, who moonlights as Oak Hill’s shortstop, said. “It is definitely difficult. After I got my (driver’s) license, it helped out a lot. My parents have always been able to drive me there.  We have a very flexible schedule for our travel team.”

PROMISING FUTURE

The lanky pitcher has already mapped out his future. He will play baseball and major in accounting at the University of Southern Maine after he graduates in June.

But an important decision awaits him before he puts on that Huskies jersey.

“I would like to play potentially two-way (as a shortstop and pitcher), but I know that is a lot on the arm — and pitching is one thing I really love to do,” he said. “I would really like to continue my pitching career, if I had to choose one, because I like competing when I am on the mound, because that’s one of my favorite things to do. I love competition.”

Rawstron’s way of taking a break from everything is to lose himself in the great outdoors.

“This year, I actually went out turkey hunting and I got my two turkeys on opening day,” he said. “I love hunting. I love fishing. Another thing I love to do in the winter time when basketball is slow and it is just before baseball season starts up, I love going snowmobiling with my dad. It is one thing we always did together since I was a younger kid.”

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