Note: Summer and baseball have always seemed to fit together perfectly. For fans of the game, summer is a time to enjoy the sights, sounds and atmosphere of America's pastime, but for college baseball players, it is a time for development. College players across the country, including members of the Santa Clara baseball squad, have already left for their summer experiences just weeks after finals as they begin preparation for the 2015 season.
After a much-improved 2014 campaign on the Mission Campus, Bronco ball players now occupy rosters throughout the nation in summer leagues that are helping them grow as players. Santa Clara is represented in twelve different leagues from the Bay Area to New England, while others play for independent teams. The "All Summer Long" series, in its fourth season, will chronicle the Broncos as they play in various summer leagues nationwide.
By Jessica Shusko '15
Newport, R.I. – Jose Vizcaino Jr. has taken his game to the East Coast, playing for the Newport Gulls in Newport, R.I. Vizcaino Jr. had a standout season for the Broncos in 2014 that earned him First Team All-West Coast Conference and College Sports Madness Second Team All-West Coast Conference. This is Vizcaino Jr.'s first time in Rhode Island and so far he is enjoying his time on the East Coast.
The Newport Gulls have a full schedule this summer, though the East Coast weather has caused a game cancellation. The Gulls are currently 16-10 and are set to play the Keene Swamp Bats on July 15 for the second time this summer.
"My favorite place we have traveled so far is probably Keene, N.H.," said Vizcaino Jr. "The team has been a somewhat rival and there is always a large crowd. It was a great atmosphere to play in."
This season for the Broncos, Vizcaino Jr. was one of two Broncos to appear in all 56 games and had the most starts at 54. Vizcaino Jr. played a versatile role for the Broncos, playing both infield and outfield.
The Gulls have utilized Vizcaino Jr.'s talents in the outfield, as well as third base. In 12 games Vizcaino Jr. has four runs scored, 10 hits, five RBI and a batting average of .244.
When he is not on the field, Vizcaino Jr. is spending time with his host family, who has taken him in for the summer. In addition, the team has taken a few outings to the beach, which are different then the ones Vizcaino Jr. is used to in San Diego, as a well as a Red Soxs game in Fenway Park.
"I am living with a host family and they are awesome. My setup is unbelievable and the family treats me like one of their own."
Aside from the fun and the new experiences playing with a team on the East Coast, Vizcaino Jr. is focused on improving parts of his game this summer.
"There is always something to work on. So for me, defensively it was being more consistent in the field. Offensively, it was developing into a better hitter by decreasing my strikeouts, as well as working on execution."
Vizcaino Jr. and the Newport Gulls are about halfway through their summer ball season. Vizcaino Jr. is looking forward to returning to the Mission campus and the Bronco baseball team.
"Coming back to SCU, I'm looking forward to meeting my new teammates as well as starting to play ball again. I'm excited to see how everyone has improved and can't wait to see what our team is capable of doing!"