by: Brandon Rebboah
With countless collegiate summer leagues nationally, players spend their summers playing with teams comprised of college players from around the country. Most of the Broncos are somewhere playing in a summer league. With players all over the country, Broncos are in the Northwoods League, Texas Collegiate Baseball League, the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League, Alaskan Baseball League, Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, California Collegiate League and many more. The "All Summer Long" Series follows the Broncos on their summer experiences.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Bronco outfielder Pat Stover is playing in the top-notch Northwoods League in preparation for the 2012 season. Stover is playing for the Willmar Stingers in Willmar, Minn.
The soon-to-be junior is leading Willmar in batting average (.338) and has amassed 23 hits, 11 runs, four doubles, a triple, a homer and six walks in his time with the Stingers.
After missing much of the 2011 season with an injury, Stover is back on the field working to return some power to the Bronco lineup. His main goal this summer is to remain healthy and get valuable experience.
"The main thing I am working on is getting healthy," said Stover. "I have been able to play 20 games thus far pain free and I will continue to work hard in the weight room to keep the streak going."
While his individual goal is to stay healthy, Stover cited that his main goal is to help the Broncos get to the post season.
Stover has fellow Broncos in the Northwoods Leauge, but none of which play in Willmar's division. Kyle DeMerritt, Justin Viele, Matt Ozanne and Stephen Meade all play for teams in the South Division, while Stover is the lone Santa Clara player in the North Division.
The outfielder is getting the traditional summer league host family experience. In addition to his host parents, Stover has three host brothers to help him feel at home.
"I have a great host family here," added Stover. "I live with three boys ages 8, 11 and 14. They keep me very busy outside of baseball."
The former Oakland A's draft pick (7th Round, 513 overall in 2009) is no stranger to the Northwoods League. This is his third summer playing in the league.
"Each year [in the Northwoods League] has been special," said Stover. "I love the atmosphere in the league and playing baseball every day. No other league prepares you for professional baseball like this league. That is why I chose to come back to play here."
For the Broncos Stover played in just 12 games last year, but knocked in nine runners during that time. In 2010, he had a solid freshman campaign, posting a .302 batting average, 55 hits, 12 doubles, three triples and 34 RBI.
To follow Stover and his summer with the Willmar Stingers visit the team's website.