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
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Right-handed pitcher and San Jose native Nick Medeiros has taken his game down south, playing for the Palm Springs Power in the Southern California Collegiate Baseball League (SCCBL). Medeiros is the only Bronco in the SCCBL this summer and is using this opportunity to focus on bettering himself for his junior season.
"The summer has been going great so far," Medeiros said. "Being the only Bronco down here has helped me branch out of my comfort zone, meet new people and focus mentally and physically on getting better every day."
Due to the sweltering summer heat in Palm Springs, all of the Power's games are played at night, in hopes of it being slightly cooler.
"It's always going to be hot living in the desert but we play all of our games at night where it cools down to a brisk 95 degrees. In all seriousness, it is actually very comfortable during game time and it has been extra important to stay hydrated."
In his first start for the Power, Medeiros had quite the performance. He pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits in a 5-2 win over SCCBL rival High Desert Heat. The Power are currently 31-7 and 11-4 in the SCCBL.
Palm Springs has a light travel schedule, making only two travel trips this summer, none of which are out of state.
"We are fortunate in that we only travel twice all summer. We have traveled to Pomona and San Diego. Pomona was pretty cool in that we played on the college's field. It's always pretty cool playing at someone else's yard."
For the Broncos in his sophomore season, Medeiros made 20 appearances with two starts and posted a 2-1 record with a 6.85 ERA. Being halfway through his career on the Mission campus, Medeiros is hoping to improve some of his skills and bring them back to his Bronco team.
"There are always things to work on. For me, staying consistent, controlling emotions and throwing more strikes are all things I hope to bring back in the fall at Santa Clara."
When he is not in the gym to escape the Palm Springs heat, Medeiros and some teammates spend their limited amount of free time on the golf course.
"There isn't too much to do outdoors during free time because of the heat; however, we can always find something to do. I have been living at the gym during the day; it is one of the few cooler places (as in temperature). Palm Springs is also known for its golf, so some teammates and I have been to the driving rage a few times."
The Power will head into SCCBL playoffs starting July 21. The champion of the SCCBL will continue on and play in a championship series against the winner of the Orange County Collegiate League, starting July 30 and continuing into August.
The Power are currently on a three-year championship streak in the SCCBL and are looking to make it a four-peat this summer season.
While Medeiros has enjoyed his summer playing in Palm Springs, he is excited to return to Santa Clara and reunite with his Bronco teammates.
"I've been staying in touch with most of them and it sounds like they are killing it in their leagues. I can't wait to get back on campus with all of them and tear it up this year."