By Brandon Rebboah' 13(SCU Media Relations)
After a successful freshman campaign, in which he started 43 games for the Broncos, Pat Stover (PS) returns as a sophomore to build on his last season. Stover hopes to become more consistent at the plate, while improving his defensive skills and helping the Broncos win. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) recently sat down with Pat Stover to talk about his off-season and goals for the upcoming 2011 baseball season.
SCB: First off, how was the off-season, particularly summer baseball?
PS: The off-season went pretty well. I played summer ball in Iowa for the Waterloo Bucks. It was my second summer in Iowa and I got to stay with the same host-family. They are really great people and I feel fortunate I had the opportunity to spend two summers with them. As for the baseball side, this past summer I focused on becoming the best defensive outfielder I can be because that is where I struggle most.
SCB: You had a solid freshman campaign, hitting just over .300. Where do you look to improve offensively this coming season?
PS: I want to be more consistent. I gave a lot of at bats away last year and I would like to cut down on that. I want to be more productive as a hitter.
SCB: What have you been doing to meet those offensive goals?
PS: I've been working on staying focused. My mental approach has really helped me become more consistent. I tend to over-think things and get in the way of myself. When I can just relax and go play is when I am at my best. I think that is true with everyone and it is just about finding what works for you to make it happen.
SCB: Where do you look to improve defensively this season?
PS: I want to make every play I am capable of making. I also would like to throw some runners out. I threw some out this summer for the first time and it is a great feeling.
SCB: What are your personal goals going into this year? How have you been working toward them?
PS: Personally, I want to stay even-keel the entire season. When I say that, I mean I want to be consistent in everything I do; both mentally and physically. I want to be playing my best ball at the end of the year.
SCB: What has been your main focus this year during practice?
PS: My main focus has been to take each rep game speed so when I get to the game I can just relax and have fun.
SCB: What opponent, if any, are you most looking forward to in the upcoming season? Why?
PS: I am pretty stoked to play at South Carolina. Not only because it is our first game but to be able to play in front of 5-10,000 fans each game will be crazy.
SCB: What your favorite thing about playing baseball at Santa Clara?
PS: I like working hard with my teammates knowing that we have each other's backs and that we are working towards a common goal.
SCB: What makes this fall season different than last year?
PS: The coaches are pushing us a little harder and the guys are more bought in. We have a great group of guys leading us. Guys on the team know their roles which helps them be more successful.
SCB: Which teammate would you consider your closest friend?
PS: I would have to say Matty O (Matt Ozanne). We both like to play hard but we also know how to have a good time doing it.