On field conversation leads Shawn Smith to Albertus

Shawn Smith points to brother Michael, dad Don and mom Amy as his guideposts.

Shawn Smith points to brother Michael, dad Don and mom Amy as his guideposts.

Shelton High Athletics / Contributed photo

Talking to the umpire is one of the perks of playing first base in baseball. So, just another day taking the field for Shawn Smith turned into something more impactful in the fall of 2020.

“I was playing for Run and Gun Baseball out of Seymour and I was talking with the first base umpire,” Smith said. “It turns out he was the head coach at Albertus Magnus. We got to talking and he ended up giving me his card. We emailed back and forth. I went to visit and liked the school.”

Coach Brian Leighton’s Falcons play in the Division III Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

“I will major in criminal justice. I would like to become a police officer,” said Smith, who leaves for college on Aug. 27. “Alex Kozlowski (former Shelton player) just finished his sophomore year there. There are a lot of local players.”

Shelton played seven starters without varsity experience this past season.

“It was difficult. It was an adjustment,” said Smith, one of the newcomers. “Most of the team has been together since Little League. We had a good bond. We’ve faced all the challenges.”

Shelton finished 10-8 in the regular season. It split Class LL state tournament games.

Shelton coach Scott Gura said: “Shawn Smith was our first baseman when Anthony Steele pitched. He was our DH in other games. We nicknamed him our quiet assassin. He is soft spoken. Shawn is like a gentle bear. He batted .302. He had big hits for us.”

Smith agreed that he likes to step in the batter’s box.

“I do like hitting a lot. Fielding is fun. But if I had to choose one or the other, I would hit,” he said. “My height helps me at first base. Over time I started to play well. I learned arm angles from the infielders. I haven’t had a problem because our fielders are very good. I haven’t had to make many big stops.”

Smith has had plenty of role models.

“I guess I would say I look up to my brother Michael the most. My parents (Don and Amy) have been there to guide me through everything,” he said. “Darren Toth was my travel coach when I was younger. Coach Gura was there for me in high school. Now my travel coach with Run and Gun Dana Garrity is helping me.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354