November 1, 2012

Baseball Newcomers Adjust to Collegiate Level

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Making the transition from high school to college is difficult for any student, let alone a student-athlete. Going from a set daily routine of classes and afternoon practice to having more flexibility in the day can add more difficulty for student-athletes that are expected to adjust from the day they step on campus.

"We are extremely excited about this year's recruiting class. These guys have been working hard this Fall to get off on the right foot academically, while improving their individual baseball skills and beginning to understand our team concepts," said Northridge head coach Matt Curtis. "We added a number of guys in the summer that we think can really help us immediately, but also continue to build the depth of talent needed to compete in the Big West Conference for years to come."

For freshmen Will Colantono (Escondido, Calif./San Pasqual HS), Calvin Copping (Temple City, Calif./Temple City HS) and Nick Osuna (Garden Grove, Calif./Servite HS), adapting to life as a Cal State Northridge baseball player is a continual process, one made easier by the help of their teammates.

"The older guys help us out with things like making sure we are doing what we need to be doing in practice," said Colantono, an infielder. "It helps us learn the drills and make sure we are being productive for the team."

"We get to hear and learn from their past experiences in the program and at the same time know what our expectations are as a team," added Osuna.

One of the biggest differences between playing baseball at the high school and collegiate levels is the pace and length of each game. Freshmen need to be able to be able to play at a high level at all times, especially in the historically-strong Big West Conference.

"The intensity and skill level in college is much higher," said Copping. "Everything in our schedule is back-to-back and challenging."

Another new thing added to the plates of first-time freshmen is traveling, as Division I programs hit the road more often to face quality opponents far from home. The prospect is exciting for new players as they get to go to new places and face teams they've only heard of or seen growing up.

"Of course we are looking forward to going to Hawai'i," the three said in near unison. "Also, when you get to play tough programs like Oregon on the road it is exciting."

At the end of the day, it is up to the newcomers to make names for themselves and help the team any way they can. Whether it is in late-game situations with a win on the line or doing the little things to help their teammates during practice, making the most of every opportunity goes a long way toward being successful. Especially when you find yourself in any new situation.


Newcomers to CSUN Baseball:

Andre Angel-Bello, C (Burbank, Calif./Crespi HS)

Michael Coates, RHP (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Moorpark College)

Will Colantono, INF (Escondido, Calif./San Pasqual HS)

Calvin Copping, RHP (Temple City, Calif./Temple City HS)

Gabriel Corniel, LHP (Carson, Calif./Narbonne HS)

Anthony Cortez, RHP (Los Angeles, Calif./Downey HS)

Kyle Ferramola, RHP (Los Alamitos, Calif./Cypress College)

Shane Fraijo, INF (Irwindale, Calif./Citrus College)

Dominique Lemus, RHP/UTL (Escondido, Calif./San Pasqual HS)

Anthony Lombardo, OF (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS)

DJ Milam, RHP (Lancaster, Calif./Quartz Hill HS)

Juan Munoz, LHP (Arleta, Calif./Arleta HS)

Michael Najera, C (Walnut, Calif./West Covina HS)

Nick Osuna, INF (Garden Grove, Calif./Servite HS)

Angel Rodriguez, RHP (Winnetka, Calif./Chatsworth HS)

Brycen Rutherford, RHP (Arcadia, Calif./Rio Hondo College)

John Salas, LHP (La Crescenta, Calif./College of the Canyons)

Oscar Sandoval, LHP (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS)

Tim Vranau, RHP (Simi Valley, Calif./LA Valley College)