A lot of people thought John Sullivan was more optimist than realist.

Reality takes place today when the Mountain State Academy baseball team plays its first-ever game at Greenbrier West.

“Most people thought we wouldn’t be able to walk and chew gum at the same time,” the Falcons’ coach said. “But we probably are one of the best teams in the state, period. Single-A, double-A, triple-A, it doesn’t matter. I would put my team up against anybody, anyday.”

That may be big talk for a team that has never played a game, but there is something to be said for confidence.

Like the school’s boys basketball team, there is an international flare to Sullivan’s squad. Of the 12 players on the roster, four are from the Dominican Republic, one from the Virgin Islands, one from Cuba and one from Puerto Rico.

Yet another is U.S.-born, but of Japanese and Dominican descent.

The remaining four are transfers from local schools.

“We all like each other. This is one of the best teams I have ever (been on),” said Louis Alba, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic.

Louis Hernandez, described by Sullivan as an “animal,” brings power and speed to the lineup. The center fielder and staff ace ran three miles in 14 minutes, 36 seconds, according to Sullivan.

Among the local players are third baseman Andrew Bisaha, who hit .381 as a freshman last year at Princeton, and pitcher Zack Smith.

Should today’s game at Greenbrier West be canceled, Sullivan said the team will instead travel to Class AAA Nitro.

The Falcons then will visit James Monroe Thursday, Roanoke (Va.) Catholic Friday and Roanoke Valley Saturday.

Their first home game will be against Montcalm at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Harry Lewin Field in Beckley.

“This whole thing has really come together,” Sullivan said.

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