SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With only a month of games left to play, the Santa Clara baseball season is on the home stretch of the 2012 baseball season. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) was able to catch up with sophomore, Greg Harisis (GH), to talk about his experience as a student-athlete and how he plans to help the Broncos finish the season. Harisis has started 17 games while making 26 appearances overall and leads the team with a .412 (28-68) batting average. He has scored 18 runs to go with seven RBI and four doubles. This past weekend, Harisis blasted his first career home run on April 28 vs. Saint Mary's over the right field wall at Schott Stadium. He has a terrific .467 on-base percentage that is helped by his six walks.
By Kaitlin Fuelling '13
SCB: As you near the end of your sophomore year, almost halfway finished with college, what have learned that has helped you as a student or an athlete?
GH: I've learned to stop taking myself so seriously, to keep thinks in perspective and to not be so hard on myself. Moving past my mistakes has helped me to stay more consistent as a person and an athlete.
SCB: What has been the most difficult or challenging aspect of being a student-athlete at SCU?
GH: Staying on track with classes while playing four games a week during season is extremely challenging, but it has taught me time management skills. This can be difficult but rewarding as well. All of our hard work in the fall comes together for a wild 3-4 month ride where we get to travel all over the place, play the game we love and represent and give back to the university.
SCB: What is your favorite part about being on the baseball team? Do you hang out with the guys outside of your baseball schedule?
GH: I love being able to show up to our beautiful stadium, Stephen Schott Stadium, every day to play ball with a team of guys who care just as much about the game as I do. Our team is my family here at SCU and we're always spending time together on and off the field, bonding as brothers and having a great time with each other.
SCB: When did you first begin to play baseball? Have you always played shortstop? Was there another position you thought you would be better at?
GH: I first started playing organized baseball when I was four. I've never actually played one position for more than a year at a time but it's been a blessing since I've learned them all over the years and can help the team at whichever position it needs me.
SCB: Who has acted as a role model in your life?
GH: Two MLB players that I look up to are Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones. I admire their professionalism and the way that they play hard every day. I also owe a lot to my high school coaches; especially my former head coach Dave Lawn. He taught me how to play the game the right way.
SCB: Do you follow a particular MLB team? Do you have any hopes or early predictions of who might end up in the World Series?
GH: I've rooted for the Cardinals ever since I was on the Little League team when I was 10. I also like the Angels, as they're my hometown team. Even though the Tigers are really good this year, the Cardinals are doing well so far and I hope they can repeat as World Champs this year, even without Albert Pujols.
SCB: How did you train in the off season and summer?
GH: I injured my back last season so the majority of my offseason was spent in physical therapy to get myself ready to start playing again in the fall.
SCB: Do you have a special routine, superstition, or meal that you follow before games?
GH: I have a beef or chicken sandwich, usually from Safeway, before every game. I also like to get to the field really early, usually four or so hours before the game, so that I have plenty of time. This way I don't feel rushed while getting myself ready to play with extra stretching and swings in the cages.
SCB: What is something that people may not know about you?
GH: I'm a pretty decent bowler and even rolled a 203 one time. Back in high school, my best friends (shout-outs to Drew and Chris Katnic, Andrew Demartini, Justin Levalle, and Cole Irvin) and I use to go to the bowling alley pretty often on Friday nights and then grab midnight breakfast at Denny's afterwards.
SCB: Lastly, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? This could include inside/outside United States.
GH: This is pretty cliché, but I'd probably want to travel throughout Europe. There are so many cool places to see and it'd be great to experience all the different cultures.