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Lincoln Park's Santos brothers form bond on, off the field PHOTO GALLERY

  • Lincoln Park starting catcher Joel Santos and staff ace Alexis Santos discuss pitches during a recent game. The two brothers, and teammates, helped guide the Railsplitters to a district title this year. Photo by Natasha Hampton
No matter what sport you play, your team is your family. Some are lucky enough to actually be related. This goes for Alexis and Joel Santos, junior and senior teammates (respectively) and brothers on the 2014 Lincoln Park baseball team.

Each sibling played an important role on the Railsplitters’ roster this year, with Joel being the leadoff hitter and starting catcher, while Alexis was the No. 3 hitter and ace of the pitching staff, with his fastball reaching 86 mph. Alexis was 5-2 with a no decision, had a 1.93 ERA, and claimed a strikeout to walk ratio of 5 to 1.

In Saturday’s regional semifinal, Alexis went all seven innings and gave up only one run against state-ranked Saline. Unfortunately for LP, the season came to an end with a 1-0 defeat.

Along with their athletic abilities, Joel and Alexis both excel in the classroom, which helped the baseball team reach All State Academic status this year.

Joel received a 29 on his ACT, while Alexis scored a 28, and both boast high grade point averages.

In the fall, the elder Santos will be attending Central Michigan University to study biomedicine and has amassed a grand total of nearly $70,000 in scholarships. He has intentions of trying to walk on to CMU’s baseball team, as well.

Alexis has yet to make a decision regarding college.

Being teenage boys, and so close in age, the Santos brothers are always looking to outdo each other.

“Whether it’s I got a 97 and he got a 94 on an exam or he was 2-for-2 in a game and I was 1-for- 2, everything between us is a competition,” said Joel. “We’re always seeing who can run faster, or hit the ball harder. It’s our way of pushing each other to be better.”

The brothers also have their parents, Joel and Anna, to thank for their hard work and dedication academically as well as athletically, setting their expectations high and not settling for anything shy of what the boys are capable of achieving.

Both of the siblings are also very humble, always speaking highly of each other.

“I just want to have fun and be a good big brother and set a good example, Lex is the ace,” the elder Santos said.

“I keep working, striving to meet Joel’s expectations,” Alexis said. “He sets the bar high for me, and I know that I can trust him that he will always be there for me.”

This brotherly chemistry is an advantage to the team. Both Joel and Alexis are fluent in Spanish and were the only two who spoke it on this year’s LP squad.

“We use it mostly for calling pitches in a game, it’s much easier than shaking off a sign five times and keeps the game moving fast,” Joel said.

“Continuing on without each other next year is going to be tough,” said the younger Santos. “He’s more experienced than I am, and I am going to miss the leadership role he had on the team, as well as all the tips he gives me.”

“I’m going to miss Alexis being my partner to play catch with, and the car rides home,” Joel said. “We would always just talk about how the game went and what we can do to improve for the next day.”

Though their time together as high school teammates is over, the boys share a bond that brings them closer together than any name on the front of a jersey will ever be able to.

Last Updated: 6/9/2014 11:32:27 PM EST

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