Senior Spotlight: Opportunity to play in college motivating Mt. Lebanon shortstop

By:
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 | 12:01 AM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

From being a terror on the basepaths to a leader on defense, Mt. Lebanon senior Dante Borris has done it all for the Blue Devils.

As a junior last season, the 5-foot-6 shortstop hit for a .459 average, but it was what he did on the basepaths that made him even more dangerous, setting a school record with 21 stolen bases while being named first-team all-section.

“I’ve always felt like I’ve had pretty decent instincts on the bases,” Borris said. “But I think most of it is the freedom our coaches give us. They give us the green light whenever we want on the basepaths, so we don’t have to call any steals or anything. It’s just picking up the pitcher sequences and stuff like that.”

From a young age, baseball has been Borris’ sport. He played basketball and football until high school, but ever since then, he’s spent all his time on the diamond. After all, it is a family sport.

“My dad played and he was pretty good in high school,” Borris said. “He played a couple of years at a (junior) college, then he played at Delaware and he sorta got drafted by the Indians. He was kind of talking to them. But he played shortstop too. He definitely taught me everything I know.”

Now, the Blue Devils shortstop will try to pave his own path when he heads off to college to play baseball at Seton Hill.

Since his final high school season was canceled, Borris has been doing whatever he can to stay in shape for the next level. He has a net in his backyard that he can hit and throw into, and he’s also been able to play catch with his younger brother.

But the talented infielder knows that his physical abilities can only take him so far, so he’s been focusing on the mental aspect of things as well.

“It’s just been reading, taking notes from books and stuff like that to get my mind right,” Borris said.

His pursuit of succeeding in college is also what’s keeping him motivated during the quarantine.

“It’s really the only thing getting me through this situation right now. If I didn’t have that, I don’t know,” Borris said. “I am just grateful I was able to sign last year and not have to worry about that right now. I feel for the kids who are younger that don’t have the opportunity to showcase their talents.”

What is your favorite memory while playing baseball for Mt. Lebanon?

It’d have to be the Mark Palmerine walk-off single against Peters Township my sophomore year. He didn’t play much and then he came in and got the hit. It was funny.

What’s the best part of your game?

My fielding. I’ve always taken a good amount of pride in my ability to field.

If you could face any pitcher, who would it be?

Max Scherzer

Did you pick up any new hobbies during quarantine?

Not really

Favorite sports moment as a fan?

Eagles winning the Super Bowl in 2018

What made you choose Seton Hill?

I never really went to any showcases because I didn’t really know how a lot of it worked, and they came and saw me last year when we played Baldwin and a couple other times. It kind of just worked out. I took a visit and I loved it. The camaraderie of the team, they seemed like a very tight-knit group, and that’s what I want to be a part of.

Do you know what you want to major in?

I think as of now, I want to do sports management and business, but I don’t really know. It could change.

If you could pick anyone to give the commencement speech at your graduation, who would it be?

Probably my dad

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Tags:

More Baseball

Longtime high school baseball coach Tim Banner dies at 64
Kiski Area big man Jason Baker to transfer to South Carolina school
Memorial bench honors late Penn-Trafford pitcher
WPIAL suspends Seton LaSalle assistant baseball coach for recruiting
Mudcats edge Snappers in Game 3 to win 2020 Daily News League championship

click me