May 12, 2009

High and Inside with Andrew Biancardi

May 12, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team brings its 2009 home schedule to a close on Tuesday, May 12 against the UC Davis Aggies. SCU was won four of its last six games and a big part of the Broncos' success has been freshman designated hitter Andrew Biancardi. The Aptos, Calif., native checked in with SantaClaraBroncos.com to talk about baseball, his transition to college life and head women's golf coach Polly Schulze.

SantaClaraBroncos.com: Why did you choose Santa Clara?
Andrew Biancardi:
It was close to home but far enough away that I would be on my own. I like that my parents came come to watch me play. I also liked the environment on campus and I really hit it off with the coaches.

SCB: Where you considering any other colleges?
AB:
I did talk a little bit with Cal and Stanford, but I made an early decision to come to Santa Clara. I actually found out a lot about Santa Clara because of I know Polly Schulze. She was my neighbor. I've known her for years. She showed me around campus.

SCB: How has the transition from high school to college been for you?
AB:
It's been tough both academically and athletically. It's definitely taught me a lot about myself both in the classroom and on the field.

SCB: What did you think you role would be on the team as a freshman?
AB:
At first, coming in as a freshman, I wasn't sure if I'd play. Then after the first week on campus I really wasn't sure if I would play this year.

SCB: Why? What happened?
AB:
I was diagnosed with diabetes during the first week on campus. I was in the hospital and I lost about 40 lbs. It definitely changed the way I do things. I have to watch what I eat and monitor my blood sugar during games. I've gotten used to it now. I check myself at least two or three times per game.

SCB: Wow! Well, you obviously fought back hard to earn a start in the starting nine.
AB:
I did gain back the weight I lost, but even still I wasn't sure if I was going to go on that first trip to North Carolina. But I did; and once I got that starting spot, it's been a daily grind to make sure I can still earn a starting spot. You have to try really hard. I'm just grateful for the opportunity this year. I'm trying to cherish every moment of it and come up big for the team every moment I can.

SCB: What has been a memorable moment for you this year?
AB:
Beating Cal Poly was big. Two of my best friends are on the team and they were ranked No. 18 at the time. Also, playing at Oregon and it starting to snow in between games. That was pretty cool.

SCB: What do you enjoy about baseball?
AB:
I've always liked baseball. I'm not sure if I can pick one aspect of it. I have three older brothers and they played. It was what we did together.

SCB: What do you enjoy about baseball at Santa Clara?
AB:
I've made a lot of friends on the team. I wasn't sure how it was going to be at first, but the guys have been so welcoming. Playing has been a lot of run even though we haven't had the best year.

SCB: Is there any player(s) on the team you look up to?
AB:
Jon Karcich and Geoff Klein. I've learned a lot from them this year.

SCB: Have you signed up with a summer ball team?
AB:
I'll be going to Hawaii this summer. They break up the teams once you get there.

SCB: What are your goals for the summer?
AB:
I know that I can't hit forever and when I came in there was a possibility of me playing third base and then I was put into the outfield. I really need to work on my outfield speed to hopefully fight for that spot in left field next year. I also want to continue to get stronger and faster. I need to get better defensively.

SCB: Now, for the fun stuff. What's your favorite type of music?
AB:
Country.

SCB: Who's your favorite country singer?
AB:
Kenny Chesney.

SCB: Do you have any nicknames?
AB:
A lot of the guys call me "Beans." It's a nickname that started in high school.

SCB: What do you do to unwind?
AB:
I like to go to the beach or play basketball. I was pretty good at basketball. I was first team all-conference my junior year.

SCB: Do you surf?
AB:
I try to surf but I'm not very good at it.

SCB: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things must you have?
AB:
One of my brothers. It doesn't matter which one. A football and a computer.

SCB: Do you have any pregame rituals?
AB:
Handshakes with some of the guys.