By Student Assistant Kaitlin Fuelling '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara baseball season is about halfway complete and currently 11-4 at home and 16-9 overall. Recently, SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) sat down with Peter Summerville (PS), a sophomore business major, to discuss his outlook on the season, team dynamics and how he prepares for each game. Peter has contributed a lot since mid-March when he began to play as catcher. He also is able to step in as designated hitter and is ranked second on the team in batting averages.
SCB: How long have you played baseball? Did you always think you would play in college?
PS: I first started playing T-Ball when I was five years old and continued through Seattle Pony Baseball. My dad was my coach for a few seasons and I've been playing ever since. One of my main goals throughout high school was to play baseball in college, but I didn't actually realize it was a possibility until my junior and senior years.
SCB: Do you have a favorite team to play against or venue to play at?
PS: I wouldn't say there is one particular team that I enjoy playing more than another. Each team is extremely competitive and simply being able to go around the country and play at different venues just makes the college baseball experience that much better. As a team, we really strive to focus on our own game, rather than who our opponent in the other dugout is.
SCB: How would you describe the team dynamics?
PS: The team dynamic is phenomenal. Everyone wants to have fun, but at the same time we also want to live up to our team mission statement, which is Relentless Development (RD). We have made great strides as a team to find that balance so far, but we still have a ways to go in order to reach our full potential.
SCB: Do you hang out with some of your teammates outside of practice and games?
PS: One of the great things about this team is that we can compete and push each other on the field, but outside of practice and games we also enjoying hanging out with each other. I currently live with teammates Zach Looney and Max Deering, and it has been awesome. I'll carry the relationships and memories I've formed with them, along with everyone else, for the rest of my life.
SCB: Who has been influential in helping you grow as a baseball player?
PS: There have been so many coaches throughout my career that have put in so much time and energy towards help me grow as a player and a person, so it wouldn't be fair to single any one person out. However, the biggest influence would have to be my family and parents. I would not have been able to have the opportunity to play this game without their constant support. Some of the great memories from my childhood that I think about every day include: playing catch, non-stop wiffle ball games during the summer, and going to Mariner games on weekends with my dad and brother.
SCB: Coming from Seattle, do you follow the Mariners? Did you have (or do you have) a favorite baseball player to look up to?
PS: I would definitely consider myself a Mariners fan. However, the last few years have been pretty difficult, but it looks like things are heading in the right direction for the ball club. I don't have a particular player that I look up to. I just enjoy watching any baseball game and watching the hitters and catchers to see how they go about the game.
SCB: What are your thoughts on post-college? Any plans in mind, even though it is a couple years away?
PS: Playing professional baseball is something that we all dream about and is a goal of mine. Although I believe it is an attainable goal, baseball has a cruel way of putting you in your place. That's why I do my best to appreciate every day I get to spend at the field. And being able to get a great education here at Santa Clara can only benefit me in the future, for whatever that may be.
SCB: How do you stay in shape during the offseason or during the summers?
PS: Being able to stay in shape for the demands of a catcher is something I am constantly finding a right balance for. You need to make sure you aren't doing too much so you are aren't fatigued by the time you actually play, but also have great strength and stamina for the long season. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many knowledgeable people at Santa Clara and back home that have had similar experiences to my own situation, that are able help me and share insight.
SCB: What is the best part about being a student-athlete at Santa Clara University?
PS: Being a student-athlete at Santa Clara is a special opportunity because you get to play the sport you love while also receiving a great education. While I am enjoying the business school program and baseball experience, the weather here in California has to be at the top of my lists of favorite things I enjoy about living here.
SCB: Is there anything you feel you have missed out on by being an athlete? I'm sure the tough schedule of practice and games can get to be a little overwhelming.
PS: Although the tough schedule of practice and games may seem overwhelming, baseball is what I love and I would take being at the field with my teammates over what others may consider as a normal college experience.
SCB: Any pre-game superstitions or routines?
PS: I wouldn't say I have any superstitions before games, but I enjoy getting to the field early and getting some swings in before the normal pre-game schedule takes place. Generally for home games, Cramers Bagels is my breakfast of choice.
SCB: What is something that people or your teammates may not know about you?
PS: That's a tough question, but not many people know that I love extremely hot and humid weather. I lived in Kansas last summer for baseball and had a great experience. I also enjoy fishing and it is one of my favorite hobbies.
SCB: Lastly, favorite food?
PS: This has to be a barbequed steak dinner by my father and baked potatoes made my mom.
Come support Peter and the Broncos as they take on Fresno State University on Tuesday, April 3, at Schott Stadium at 1:00pm.