As a junior college transfer, what made you choose NDSU?
I had quite a few offers out of JUCO. My route to come here was a little different. With COVID and everything, I had to transfer to another Junior College from my original one. Ultimately, I just felt like this was a better option than most because Bennett Hostetler just got drafted and they needed a middle infielder to come in and fill in the spot and it felt right. And the coaching staff I talked to then was very interested. And then about a couple of weeks out, a new coaching staff came in, but I still felt confident in my relationship that I had with [Tyler] Oakes that I would still have a spot on the team. The coaching style here has been very comfortable.
What do you like about the coaching style?
It’s very organized, very structured. Everything about what we do, we do with a purpose and it’s explained very thoroughly why we’re doing what we’re doing and what we’re doing it for. There’s a reason behind all of it. The structure part gives the younger guys and the older guys a chance to understand what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do.
I have to imagine you guys put in a lot of work on your own as well. How often are you doing that?
Anytime we get a chance. We have certain time frames each day where we can get into the indoor facility and that’s so huge. The coaches can’t be hands-on during those times, but they open the door for us. And this team, this year, I see that more than last year. A lot of guys are very eager to get in extra work outside of our team practices and our small groups and our weights. Guys are lifting on their own and doing everything possible before the season starts so that we’re going to be prepared and we’re going to be ready to play the teams that we’re going to play.
You went from Arizona and Colorado to Fargo, how are you liking it here?
I went from one extreme to the next. Northeast was a good transition because it was a little colder there, I got to see some below-zero temperatures. And then coming here, it was explained to me that I’ll never see anything like it. The cold here is very different. It’s all about the wind, but I didn’t look at it like that. I just looked at the experience I was going to have coming here and I felt like the NDSU community was just huge. I didn’t think that we were going to be put in a spot where we weren’t going to have the facilities to not practice and not have those things. The new indoor facility is so nice, it’s perfect. We can put in our work and stay warm. We’re kind of on the same schedule as somebody that we would be in Arizona or Texas.
What do you like most about baseball?
The competitive factor. I like that my success doesn’t come from just my play, it comes from my teammates. So, when I succeed, my teammates succeed and vice versa. And the camaraderie is the biggest thing. The bus rides and the travel are huge for us because we spend most of our time traveling. So, being with a team and being so close with the team that we have is my favorite part. I get to go and grind with the boys.
What are your thoughts and emotions coming into your final season?
I definitely want to lay it out on the table. I definitely want the opportunity to play at the next level and I think I have the capabilities of doing that. I just need to play this season and see what happens this season. I need to do what I’ve done that has made me successful to this point and not change anything for any reason other than that I want to win a championship. We won the regular season conference last year, but the tournament is what I think a lot of us have our eyes set on. We want to play in a regional and we want to see how far we can go.
- 2022 All-Summit League Second Team
- Summit League Championship All-Tournament Team (2022)
- 45 Games Played
- .338 Batting Average
- 53 Hits
- 36 Runs
- 7 Home Runs
- 28 RBIs
- .567 SLG%
- .458 OB%