Steven Schoch – Senior University of Virginia Baseball

“Ever since I can remember my baseball journey has been an uphill battle. When I was 7 years old, I got cut from my local travel team. I remember my Dad sitting me down and telling me I could cry, but all I wanted to do was go to the field and get better to be more prepared for next year’s try outs. I didn’t make it again the next year, however I did make a less competitive travel team.”

“When I was eight, I started getting interested in college baseball and went to my first UVa game. I remember sitting in the stands, thinking at that specific moment that I wanted to be a part of UVa baseball. I loved everything about the program, and I remember immediately going out to buy a UVa baseball hat after the game.”

“Before the summer of my junior year, my high school coach sat down with me and asked what college coaches I wanted to speak to. I told him that I wanted him to put me in touch with the coaching staff at the University of Virginia. His response is one that I’ll never forget and still causes my blood to boil. He sat there and laughed and then said, “oh, you were serious?” I think that conversation motivated me to get to this point that I’m at today”

“My freshman year at Appalachian State I did well for myself. I got shelled one or two times (maybe like four but ya know who’s counting?), but ultimately, I led the freshman class in my conference in appearances and held a 3.43 era to my name. Following that year my coach was fired and I decided it was in my best interest to transfer to another school that was closer to home.”

“Luckily UMBC had known me in high school and seen enough video from me at App State to know that I had talent to play at the Division I level. I sat out my first year at UMBC due to NCAA transfer rules and spent a ton of time working out and developing my craft.”

“My first year playing at UMBC I finished the year with a 1.72 era, which put me 12th in the nation among D1 pitchers, and 10 saves which was a school record. I knew that if I did well in the summer I could essentially transfer to any school in the nation. That summer I made my way to the Cape and had even more success, finishing up the year with a 0.95 era against the best hitters in the nation. When I heard that I was going to play in the all-star game I broke down in my car and started crying, just because I had all of these goals and I had finally proven myself on the biggest stage I had ever been on.”

“That following fall I talked to my coaches at UMBC and told them that I planned on transferring at the end of the year. They told me that they were fully supportive of me and that they thought it would be the best decision for my career. I finally was getting the chance to play at my dream school.”

“At Virginia, I pitched well in the fall and earned my spot as a go to reliever. When the spring season started, I was truly living out my dream.  I was closing games at my dream school; we were 18 games into the season. I had pitched in 11 of them and picked up 5 saves, putting me at second in the nation in both categories. I was on top of the world.”

“Even though the season was cut short, I’m still proud of all I achieved. In my time in college baseball I’ve just about seen it all, and I hope that my story inspires kids out there who are in a similar situation. Regardless of what anyone tells you, bet on yourself, and believe that you can do anything you set your mind to. Commit to your dreams and put everything you’ve got into working towards those dreams. Power through when the road gets tough and know that better things will come.”

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