March 24, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. -
By Summer Mollo
CSF Media Relations Intern
As the baseball season starts to unfold, Cal State Fullerton junior letterman Corey Jones is just getting warmed up after two injury abbreviated seasons. He has started all 20 games to date, dividing time between second base, where he has played the most as a Titan, and third base - a new spot which he says is more demanding and rewarding.
"I didn't like the position (third base) a lot in high school, but I liked making the transition from second to third base here," said Jones, who is majoring in business.
He has recovered from multiple injuries the past few seasons. In his true sophomore year (2008), a pitch struck his elbow in a game against UC Santa Barbara and he was out the last six weeks of the season. Last year he broke his ankle prior to the season and took a redshirt campaign. He underwent a few surgeries and eventually recovered well.
This year, in his first at bat against Oregon, he squared a bunt and the ball hit him in the face. It was bruised and swollen but he healed well with no serious injury and was back in the lineup the next night. With three hits Tuesday at LMU, his batting average is up to .260 after a week-long slump. "Last year it felt like the longest year," said Jones. "It was a struggle to come to school since I couldn't play baseball. After awhile I realized that it was a blessing in disguise because before I took baseball for granted, and now I appreciate the opportunity to play."
Jones attended Camarillo High School and grew up in Camarillo. He played almost every infield position in high school. He verbally committed to UCLA as a senior in high school. He then got a call from Rick Vanderhook, a former assistant coach at Fullerton. He told him that if he was serious about playing baseball; Fullerton would be the better choice. After meeting with the coach Corey, felt like the words stuck with him and he ended up signing with Fullerton.
Futuristically, he wants to play baseball professionally. He also has thoughts about becoming a sports agent. Something no one knows about him is that if he didn't play baseball, he would want to me a rock star.
His most memorable moment at Cal State Fullerton was playing in the 2007 College World Series and being able to hit in a game.
He thinks that the most interesting series of this season will be against UC Irvine.
"They are a good team and it's like an Orange County rivalry when we play against each other," he said.
His favorite band is Blink 182 and he also likes Bruce Springsteen and anything in the rock genre. His walk-up song at Goodwin Field is a Rise Against song called "Behind Closed Doors." He chose that song because he likes the lyrics in the beginning of the song that will be used when he walks up to the plate.
The best part of the game to him is the constant pressure to win or lose.
"Baseball is a team and individual sport," he said. "One little play can change the whole game."
His pregame ritual is praying in the same place. His role model is his dad. He admits that they butt heads at times, but he feels that it's because they are so similar."
His advice for younger athletes trying to play sports is: "you must have fun. Don't ever stop playing because someone says you aren't good enough, just keep playing."
His goals for the rest of his time at Cal State Fullerton are to win a Big West Conference pennant, win a National Championship, complete his degree and sign a professional contract.