How designated hitter Easton Reichard has played a role in the success of Van Buren baseball

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

Easton Reichard wants to find a way to contribute to the Van Buren Pointer baseball team.

If it's just being the team's designated hitter or playing first base for senior night, he's going to do what is asked of him.

"I don't even think about the pressure. I really want to help my team and help out my pitchers," Reichard said. "I don't want to focus my energy on the negatives but focus on the positives."

Reichard has an.420 on base percentage with 16 RBIs. He also leads the team in walks (20) and hit-by-pitches (six).

"He brings a lot of energy to our team, and our guys respond to him," coach Luke Weatherford, who was named as the 5A-West Coach of the Year, said. "He's done a good job in the DH spot this year. He's just a very personable, never-met-a-stranger type of guy."

The Pointers finished 5A-West Conference play on Monday as it swept Siloam Springs in a doubleheader. Van Buren picked up its first outright conference title since 1995 and finished 12-2 in league play. The Pointers swept five of their conference opponents this season and split with Greenwood and Russellville. 

Van Buren travels to Jonesboro to face Lake Hamilton on May 13 in the Class 5A state tournament.

"I want to score runs. I like winning. I like winning a lot. I really like that I'm able to contribute on the field," Reichard said. "I like seeing how much I've progressed as a baseball player. I spent more time in the weight room just throwing around weights. I also come out here with my boys like Tanner Callahan and Connor Johnson throwing at me. If you can get a hit off Connor, you may be OK."

He's planning on attending the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and playing baseball there.

"I just want to play baseball and find somewhere else to contribute," Reichard said. "It's been a part of my life for so long. I want to keep playing as long as I can, and it keeps me out of trouble."

There were high hopes for Van Buren last season before school was shut down due to COVID-19, and it was equally frustrating for Reichard to sit at home and not have baseball.

"Tanner, Connor, and the seniors were looking good last year. It was just terrible because it could have been a good year for Van Buren. We played with these boys, like Breckin Waters and Devin Gattis, since we were little," Reichard said. "We got that connection ... that special bond. We're all close together, and we all hang out.

"I'm ready to get me a ring. I'm ready to win a ring for my teammates and coach Weatherford. I just want to get another win with my boys one last time."