HAGERSTOWN — Luke Scott might be struggling at the plate this year for the Baltimore Orioles, but he’s 4-for-4 with the Hagerstown Area Church Softball League.
Scott, in his fourth season with the Orioles, was the featured speaker at the league’s annual banquet Thursday at Tri-State Fellowship in Hagerstown for the fourth straight year.
“God puts opportunities in our lives to serve, to give testimony,” Scott said in an interview before he took the stage. “He calls on us to do that, to talk about what He’s done for us in our individual lives.
“If you take care of what He wants you to take care of, He’ll take care of your needs. This is just another opportunity for me to fulfill that.”
Scott finished last season with a .284 batting average, 27 home runs and 72 RBIs and was named the Orioles’ team MVP.
This season, though, he’s batting only .232 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs. But Scott, who bats left-handed and throws right-handed, has been playing with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
“It’s affected my numbers quite a bit,” said Scott, who plays left field and first base. “It’s my lead shoulder in hitting, and throwing is a challenge as well. It’s really tough. I’m doing everything I can as far as rehab exercising. It just is what it is.
“I got a cortisone shot Sunday, and that helped a lot, so I’m really optimistic about that. ... I’m hoping I get a miracle healing. If not, then I’ll have to weigh my options at the end of the season and see what I have to do. But I’m hoping I don’t have to get surgery. ... I’m a man of faith. God’s come through for me in the past, and I believe He’ll do it again.”
Scott also is hopeful that Baltimore will move up in the standings. The Orioles, who didn’t have a game Thursday, are in last place in the American League East with a 29-31 record.
“We have a good team, but we have underachieved,” Scott said. “We are much more capable than what we’ve shown, but we’re still right there. Even though guys have struggled, we’ve had a good attitude and we keep fighting and pushing through. Not everything is always going to go smoothly. You have to learn to make adjustments to the bumps in the road. This team has done a good job with that.”
They still have more than half the season left to play.
“We’ve gone through a lot of adversity, but we’re hoping it balances out and we’ll have some good times coming up,” Scott said. “There are a lot of games left and anything can happen.
“In 2005, I was with the Astros and through the first 45 games, we were 15-30. And in the Houston Chronicle it said: ‘Rest in Peace, Houston Astros, 2005.’ That year we went to the World Series. Things like that can happen.”
Scott also said he is hoping to make it 5-for-5 with the Hagerstown Area Church Softball League next season. But first he must remain an Oriole. He signed a one-year, $6.4 million contract with Baltimore in February.
“Every year it’s up in the air, until you get a long-term contract,” he said. “I hope to stay in Baltimore, but that’s in the Lord’s hands. All I can do is do my part as best I can. He directs my future. Wherever I go will be His will.”
However it plays out, Scott already has left his mark in Hagerstown.
“He just loves God. He just has a heart for events like this,” said Mike Kelbaugh, the softball league’s president. “He’s become a friend of mine, and we communicate often. I pray for him, and I’m sure he prays for me. It’s been a blessing to know him.”
Scott plans to return to Hagerstown later this month for the “Orioles in the Outfield” Baseball Camp at Marty Snook Park for children ages 7-14. For information, contact Kelbaugh at 301-223-4556.