Baseball, Five-Year Old Xavier Join Up Through Team IMPACT

If you've been to McGill Field lately, you've no doubt seen a familiar face. He's a bit younger than the rest of his Flying Dutchmen teammates but he's just as important and well-respected in the dugout.

LVC's baseball program welcomed a special member to the team for the 2015-16 campaign. He is five-year old Xavier Metrovich. And he's become a valued member of the Dutchmen squad.

Xavier, a Hershey, Pa. native, was paired with Lebanon Valley through Team IMPACT, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of a team. The acronym IMPACT stands for Inspire, Motivate, and Play Against Challenges Together, and it gives children like Xavier the opportunity to spend time on the diamond and in the dugout with a group of competitors that share his love for the game.

Xavier was diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome (LDS), which is caused by gene mutations that affect the vascular system and increases the risk of aneurysms. It's a rare connective tissue disorder that affects the entire body but the main concern is the heart and more specifically, the aorta.

LVC's newest and youngest player is also one of the squad's most popular as it didn't take him long to fit in among his teammates and coaches. He's been with the Dutchmen since the fall, spending time with them both at practices and at games. The boys have also spent some downtime together off the field, including mixing it up at a local bowling alley. Prior to LVC's contest against MAC Commonwealth rival Widener on March 18, Xavier threw out the game's first pitch.

View more photos of Xavier and the team at