Q: Who are your baseball idols?
A: I liked Ken Griffey, Jr. when I was younger, but now I am a big fan of David Wright. I had a chance to hear him speak when I was in high school and one of the things he said that stood out to me was that he liked to work out on days like Christmas and Thanksgiving because he knew that most of the other guys in the league took that day off, so he knew he was getting one day better than them. I really admire his work ethic and desire to improve.
Q: What are your favorite professional sports teams?
A: My favorite sports team is the New York Mets.
Q: When did you start playing baseball?
A: When I was five my dad signed me up for tee ball.
Q: What are your favorite things about the game?
A: I love the mental side of baseball. It is a game in which you fail more times out of ten than you succeed; the ability to overcome setbacks, stay positive and perform consistently really tests your mental toughness.
Q: What kind of difficulties have you faced this season?
A: So far this season has gone very smoothly and the team has done fairly well. A lot of guys on the team are off to good starts.
Q: What are your hopes for this season?
A: I would like to make the Atlantic 10 playoffs. We have fallen short the past two years and I would love the opportunity to play for a conference championship and a regional berth.
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Q: What are your hopes for after college?
A: Pro ball has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, but right now I am taking it one game at a time and trying to help Richmond get to the playoffs.
Q: You closed out your third save of the season last Tuesday; how did that feel?
A: It felt great. It's always nice to win away games midweek, especially leading into our opening conference weekend.
Q: What is the team dynamic like?
A: The team dynamic is great; we only brought in four freshmen this year, so most of the guys are experienced and comfortable with each other.
Q: What are the biggest differences between your experiences with Richmond baseball and high school -- Colonial Forge -- baseball?
A: The biggest differences are the team dynamic in college and the length of the season. In college, the roster is much larger than in high school and you do everything with your teammates, so in my experience, college teams are more close-knit. The length of a college season is much longer than a high school season. I played 26 games my senior year in high school versus a 56-game regular season in college. The longer season is much more demanding.
Q: You recently won Atlantic 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Pitcher of the Week. What do these titles mean to you?
A: I was very excited to win those honors -- our defense played great behind me that week and it's really a reflection of our whole team and the hard work we put in preparing for this season.
Q: What was your reaction when you heard that you were named Pitcher of the Week?
A: I was surprised -- I think of myself as a hitter first and a pitcher second so it was nice to be recognized for my performance on the mound, too.
Q: Is your family invested in your success, too?
A: Yes, my family is very supportive. My dad calls me after every game and someone is usually in the stands at all of our home games since I only live an hour north of Richmond.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Hardy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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