Hayden Reyes gets his 100th hit

“One-hundred hits is like the high school equivalent of Derek Jeter hitting 3,000 in Major League Baseball. It’s a huge milestone,” Coach Dave Roberts said of the recent feat of Princeton High School senior Hayden Reyes breaking his school record for number of career hits.

Roberts recalls Reyes being one of the only freshmen to start on varsity.

“It’s rare,” he said.

It was six games into his freshmen season when Reyes got called up to bat. The primary varsity shortstop was pitching and the backup was hurt. That was when Reyes got his opportunity to show his potential.

Roberts, who has been Reyes’ coach all four years, said how having the chance to play on varsity as a freshman is one thing, but it’s a whole other ballpark to maintain your position and keep going. It only took Roberts about 45 seconds to realize Reyes was the guy they’d bring out to the varsity team if something happened.

“When I first started, I never would have believed I could have even had the goal of 100 hits. It only began to become something real junior year,” Reyes said.

During a typical PHS season, the baseball team plays 22 to 25 games. In his freshman year, Reyes had nearly one hit per game. He had 30 hits his sophomore year and 34 in his junior year.

“At the beginning of the season, I knew I was 18 [hits] away. My 87th hit broke the school record, and then it all became a blur and I kind of lost track,” Reyes said. “Then, at the Ham-West game, I knew I was close – only three away going into it – and I wanted it then but I didn’t get it. My grandpa was on the sideline with a ‘100 hits’ sign. He’s really into it. He’s supportive.”

After the anticipation hit a peak, Reyes finally hit his 100th at an away game against West Windsor-North. Reyes said it was a moment he’d always remember.

“It was never really a question of whether he’d get it, just a matter of when,” Roberts said. “I am incredibly proud. It’s just awesome.”

Reyes, who has been playing baseball since grade school, is going to Montclair State University in the fall to keep on playing.

“It’s very exciting,” Reyes said – continuing that it hasn’t quite sunk in yet that his days with his team of four years will soon be coming to a close. “Baseball is a big part of my life.”

About Erica Chayes Wida

Erica Chayes Wida is a writer, mom, and complete zealot when it comes to poetry, paella and globe collections. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA, Erica moved to Italy where the seasons and old architecture inspired her journey back to the East Coast. Since then, she and her husband have created a nest egg locally and, over time, developed a rather grand love affair with the town of Princeton. Erica is senior editor at The Princeton Sun and enjoys fulfilling her Princeton affections on a daily basis. | View all posts by Erica Chayes Wida