Pav's Pad: Edition 2

Pav's Pad: Edition 2

Pav's Pad: Edition 1
Pav's Pad: Edition 2

By Jake Pavletich

Well this is exciting. One week until we strap them up for real and take on the Stanford Cardinal. We've been grinding for months, waiting for this moment. We work on the field and off of it. That's what being a student-athlete is all about.

Notice how the "student" is always before the "athlete". That's how it should be. I do want to address something. I can't tell you how many times I've heard from student "Man, you baseball players have it so easy.", we as athletes often times have a target on our backs from other students.  Things we hear and are told to us include: "You guys have it so easy." That's not true at all. We work for everything we have. Trust me, it's all worth it, but nothing is handed.

Below I'll describe my typical day as a student-athlete to give you a sneak peek into our everyday lives.

We wake up at 6 am every morning.  After an early snack, we quickly begin weight training from 6:30 to 7:30 am.  After weights we eat another snack (yeah we like to eat a lot) and off to classes from 8:30 am.-12:45 pm.

Once we are all done with classes we head to the baseball facility. Practice will occur from 1:45- 5:30 pm.  Most practices conclude with a verbal discussion of the strengths of our practice and the "opportunities for improvement".  Some "opportunities for improvement" are emphasized more than others….anyway, moving on…

The day isn't over yet because there is study hall for all players from 7-9 pm.  Then home to rest and relax after a long and grueling day.  Tomorrow starts the same routine all over again 8 short hours from bedtime.

But all of this is truly worth it, because we're just one week away from doing what we truly love to do.

In one week, we'll open the season at Stanford. The last time we were up on The Farm, our 2017 Titan team had really caught fire. That's where our magical run to Omaha began. We played really good team baseball last time, but we have lost a lot of our players from last year's team due to graduation and the MLB Draft.

Meanwhile Stanford has returned a really good pitching staff.  We will focus on one game at a time, only worrying about the next pitch and not dwell on anything beyond that next pitch.

Head coach Rick Vanderhook, often talks to us about "living in the present moment", and the infielders practice this philosophy by taking ground balls in tennis shoes.

Why tennis shoes you ask?

Without spikes on, the traction is minimal and everyone is constantly slipping all over the place.  Hook wants us to feel the dirt we stand on.  It's crazy to think like that, but to truly be in the present moment you must feel your feet.  The game of baseball is super-fast and opening night every player will be intense and passionate while mentally thinking quickly (even our head coach, trust me).

From an offensive standpoint the Titans have made large strides since the last time some of you saw us play at the alumni game.  We are learning and executing good quality team at-bats, while helping the next person as they approach the plate.

Speaking of the alumni game, it was really a lot of fun seeing many generations of Titan Alumni come back and playing baseball. Even Mike Wright, the catcher who played the last two innings, hadn't thrown the catcher's gear on in 15 years! That was great to see. He was thrilled to be a part of the alumni team and we as current players were ecstatic to witness his eagerness and willingness to help us get better as a team.  We as the 2018 Titans took information from other Alumni players like Carlos Lopez, who went 2-of-3 from the plate without seeing live pitching for months.  Additionally, Lopez at last year's alumni game even hit a home run.  It is pretty incredible to see his battle at the plate year in and year out.

This year's Titan pitching staff known as "The Kickers" (that stands for non-athletes in football from previous years) but this year our pitching staff is super athletic.

There isn't one guy on our staff that we don't trust to get the job done. Everyone has been throwing and developing as a pitcher very well. Practicing for pop flies for the pitching staff is probably the best thing to watch at practice. Watching the pitchers go after the ball by themselves is quite hysterical (sorry guys).  

Most of the freshmen have never experienced the ball getting shot up from a machine over at least 8 stories high before. Shagging baseballs is a big part of the pitchers' daily routine. They chase after baseballs all over the yard. The pitchers, to break up the monotony of this task, have come up with a game called "Power Shagging" where they get points for certain types of balls hit.

The Rules are as followed:

There are 4-5 pitchers in each of the three outfield positions.

You must go after every ball hit. (Unless Foul)

If you make an error, you are back at ZERO points.

If you catch the ball in the air, 100 points . 

If you catch the ball after one bounce, 50 points.

If you catch the ball while rolling, 25 points.

So that is a little bit of a game within the game for pitchers to bypass the time standing out in the outfield. Those guys are always creative and continue to find ways to make the game fun.

Alright, now it's time to  get to know some of the older guys on the team.

 

Joe Wills 4th year Senior, JC Transfer from Rio Hondo Community College RHP #34

Q: If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

            A: Hangout with friends and travel to exotic places

Q: What's your favorite piece of clothing you own/owned?

            A: Rainbow Sandals

Q: What fictional place would you most like to go?

            A: The North Pole 

Q: What job would you be terrible at?

            A: Math teacher, who the hell would put themselves in that misery… 

Q: What is the best thing that has happened to you since arriving at CSUF?

            A: Making new friends, that'll last forever 

Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?

            A: I do not have any pre game rituals; just take about 2 ibuprofens before I pitch.

 

 

Jack Pabich 5th year Senior, JC Transfer from Orange Coast Community College RHP #30      

Q: If you win the lottery, what's the first thing you'd buy?

            A: I would buy my parents both brand new cars and pay off their house. 

Q: What's your favorite drink?

            A: Cream soda

Q: What songs have you completely memorized?

            A: I have a ton of songs memorized, but I would say "I Miss You" by Blink 182

Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?

            A: I take Ibuprofen before the game and drink electrolytes only from the 1st inning to the 3rd inning if I need something to drink.

Q: What's the best thing that has happened to you since arriving at CSUF?

            A: Going to the College World Series last year was the best experience I've ever been apart of.

 

Brian DeJesse 4th Year Bullpen Catcher #58

Q: What do you wish you knew more about?

            A: More about the cosmos and all things about space like space travel.

Q: Who's your go to band or artist when you can't decide on something to listen to?

            A: Not a band or artist but anything in the 80s is perfect with me

Q: What are some small things that make your day better?

            A: Seeing the chalk lines on the field

Q: What's your claim to fame?

            A: Making two trips to the College World Series

 

Chris Prescott 4th year, JC Transfer from Orange Coast Community College OF #3

Q: What job would you be terrible at?

            A: Delivering pizzas, I would eat half of it.

Q: What job would you be really good at?

            A: Lifeguarding, I love the beach and the pool.

Q: What skill would you like to master?

            A: Fishing, I've always loved going fishing when I was younger.

Q: What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

            A: It would be pretty amazing to go to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?

            A: Not so much rituals, but routines, yes. I put on beats headphones to focus in and do some visualization. We then out on the field, say a prayer as a team but after I follow it up with a prayer of my own.

Q: What's the best thing that has happened to you since arriving at CSUF?

            A: Playing in the College World Series with all my brothers.

 

Tom Wilson 4th Year Junior, JC Transfer from LA Pierce Community College RHP #27

Q: Are you usually early or late?

            A: I'm ALWAYS early, never late. I start to panic when practice starts in 30 minutes and I still have to put on my baseball pants. 

Q: What pets did you have while you were growing up?

            A: My family and I had dogs growing up. In fact four to be exact, named Madison, Frisky, Cookie, Zuma as well as a hamster my freshman year of high school named Plesman. 

Q: What takes up too much of your time?

            A: Honestly, my phone takes up way to much of my time. I'd love to enjoy everything and everyone around me a little more. Editor's note: we WILL steal his phone this year to satisfy his wish!!!

Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?

            A: No pregame rituals, I'm not superstitious at all, I just try to enjoy playing the game and prepare with my teammates. 

Q: What is the best thing that has happened to you since arriving at CSUF?

            A: Meeting all the guys on the team and knowing I have friendships for a long time. 

 

Check back in with me as we approach Tulane Green Wave. If you have any questions, comments, concerns email me at jakepav10@gmail.com.

Thanks for following!

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Sun Apr 22
1:00 PM
Hawai'i
at Cal State Fullerton
-2
Tue Apr 24
6:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UCLA
-2
Fri Apr 27
6:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Irvine
-2
Sat Apr 28
2:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Irvine
-2
Sun Apr 29
1:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Irvine
-2
Fri May 04
2:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Davis
-2
Sat May 05
1:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Davis
-2
Sun May 06
1:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Davis
-2
Fri May 11
7:00 PM
UC Riverside
at Cal State Fullerton
-2
Sat May 12
6:00 PM
UC Riverside
at Cal State Fullerton
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