May 5, 2014

Kyle Cortopassi Describes Life on the SCU Baseball Team

Written by Student Assistant Genre McAtee

Kyle Cortopassi (KC) talks about his life on the Santa Clara baseball team, including what the team does before and after each game. Coropassi reflects on the passion of his team and how each player is intrinsically motivated by a love for the sport. 

SCU: Your parents are both SCU alumni. Did they affect your decision to come here?

KC: My parents did not directly affect my decision to go to Santa Clara, but growing up knowing about the school and visiting over the years with them made me really like the school and want to come here.

SCU: How does Santa Clara's baseball team differ from your team in high school?

KC: Ever since I was a little kid, I knew that Santa Clara was a great school. As I grew older, I knew I wanted to continue my education in the business school and play baseball here.  There are a lot of similarities that Santa Clara's baseball team has with my high school team, but I would say the one difference between the two is that at Santa Clara, every guy on the team is fully invested and puts in the hard work on his own to be the best player he can be.  In high school, we were fortunate to have the majority of guys on the team who did this, and that is why many of my teammates are playing baseball both collegiately and professionally, but not everyone shared this same ambition like the way it is on this Santa Clara team.

SCU: A lot of the game of baseball is invisible to the crowd. Can you describe some of the mental preparedness that goes on during games?

KC: The mental game of baseball is the most important aspect of the game, and the casual fan does not see the preparedness that is necessary for success.  Examples of this preparedness are having a plan of what to do in an at-bat or thinking about what you are going to do if the ball is hit to you.  For example, if I come up to the plate with a runner at third and the infield is playing in, I am going to look for a fastball elevated so that i can drive a ball into the outfield and not swing at a pitch down in the zone and hit a ground ball, which is what the pitcher wants me to do.  On defense, knowing what I am going to do with a ball is key because if I am playing third base and there are runners at first and second, I need to know that if a ball is hit to my left, I am going to throw it to second, or if it is hit to my right, I am going to touch third and throw the ball to first.  It is the pre-pitch thoughts that set up players to be consistent in making plays during the game. 

SCU: How do you and your team celebrate the finish of a game? Any post-game rituals?

KC: Our team celebrates wins by playing loud music in the locker room.  We enjoy that we executed and played good baseball to come out with a win.  We also give out the RD "Relentless Development" award, which is given to the player who modeled our team's focus in the game.  This means that this player did something in the game that was pivotal for us to win.