This archived article was written by: Chance Abrath
My name is Chance Abrath, I am a shortstop for the USU Eastern baseball team. Lately, I have been pondering about the difference between high school and college baseball. First off, I originally was set to play football at Southern Utah University. My true desire was to play baseball. When I came for a tryout at Eastern I felt comfortable on the field here, it felt right. When I was offered to play here I was recruited as a third basemen. So throughout the summer I practiced at third base. On the third day of practice coaches Scott Madsen and KC Smurthwaite came up to me and asked me to start playing at shortstop. At first my mind was blown away, I hardly played shortstop in high school, I was a third baseman!
That was the most difficult transition between the high school and the college level. There are a lot of differences between high school and college baseball. One difference is in college it is a lot harder, you play against a lot better players. A college team is put together with all the best high school players. In college you have to put a lot more practice time in, along with more conditioning. Sprints, swimming, weight room, hill climbs, you name it, we have done it for conditioning. We practice everyday and we don’t get any days off. In high school we got a day off every once in a while.
In high school we use metal bats, at the junior college level we use wood bats and that takes a lot off of the ball you hit and you need a lot more discipline at the plate. When using a wood bat you loose a lot of base hits that you would get if you were using metal. I like wood bats more, because that’s what the professional baseball players use. One of the drawbacks to a wood bat is that they break. If you hit the ball wrong with your bat, even in the slightest form it becomes your next source of heat from the fireplace.
Pitching is another big difference between high school and college. A high school team only has a couple good pitchers when a college team has more talented pitchers. Generally, college pitchers throw mid to upper 80’s. At the high school level only a few pitchers can break the 80’s.
I really enjoy playing shortstop now, something I never thought I would have enjoyed. I am looking forward to our baseball season. The games are a lot more intense and competitive. I feel like we are going to have a solid team. I hope to see all of you at our games this Spring.