By Carolyn Linck, '11
Matt Ozanne (MO), a sophomore from Scottsdale, Ariz., is ready to put his freshman year behind him. Though the outfielder had a terrific rookie campaign, finishing the year with a .380 batting average and being named to the WCC All-Freshman Team and the All-WCC honorable mention list, Ozanne now looks to move forward in the 2010-11 season. Recently www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Ozanne about his goals for the coming year and how he is working to build on his previous success.
SCB: You had a great freshman year, being named to the 2010 WCC All-Freshmen Team and All-WCC honorable mention list last season. How are you hoping to follow this up in your sophomore year? How are you working to accomplish this?
MO: Putting the past behind me is key to my growth as a player for this season. If I ride on what I have done in the past then I am not focusing as much on the present and what I need to do today to get better and grow. What happened last year was good, but it is over now and I need to focus on the little things that will jump my game up to the next level. My goal is to just keep working hard on and off the field this year and learn as I go.
SCB: You were drafted by the Diamondback last June but chose to stay at Santa Clara. Was this a difficult decision for you, and how did you ultimately decide to remain at SCU?
MO: No it wasn't really a difficult decision. I knew I wanted to go to college and I still have so much growing to do as a player so I definitely don't regret it. I have learned a lot already since I have been at SCU and I hope to continue on that path.
SCB: What do you hope to accomplish by the end of your Santa Clara baseball career?
MO: By the end of my career I hope to have a chance to play in the College World Series. When I was younger I went to a game and the atmosphere was so alive. To be one of those players out on the field would be a dream come true. I also hope that I get another chance to be drafted and continue my baseball career at the next level.
SCB: What are your goals for the upcoming season on an individual and team level?
MO: Individually I hope to become more consistent at the plate and to become very mentally tough. Working on my mental game will help me to be more consistent at the plate as well as other aspects of my game. As a team we just need to be confident in ourselves and play with intensity every pitch. A personal goal of mine is to push my teammates to be the best they can be and to never be satisfied.
SCB: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game right now?
MO: I think the strongest aspect of my game is my defense. I have worked hard to get where I am defensively and will continue to work so I can be even better.
SCB: What do you think is the weakest aspect of your game, and how are you working to improve it?
MO: The weakest part of my game is probably my base-running, particularly stealing bases. The biggest thing for me to work on this aspect of my game is to eliminate the fear to get picked off. I just need to relax and let my instincts take over.