Tell us about the home run derby.
There are two players from each team — there’s five players, so there’s 10 contestants. There are three rounds, and each round is timed. It’s a three-minute round with a 30-second break, and you can take it whenever you want. In the first round, I had 13 home runs, and that put me in second place going into the second. I only needed to hit six home runs in the second round to move on. I hit seven. The final round, I hit first, and I hit 13 home runs again. The other guy only hit like seven.
How did you end up in Alaska this summer?
My coach Ben Taylor from the summer league recruited me and contacted my coaches at school. Last fall, my coach asked me if I wanted to go to Alaska for the summer, and I said “Yeah, that sounds fun. I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska; it’s a great opportunity.” Got there June 3 and came home Aug. 8.
What’s your outlook on for USF this coming year?
This year, we have a lot of good returning young players. We got some kids back (who) were injured last year. I think we’ll be pretty good this year.
What made you pick USF?
I love Tampa, and I just really like the coaching staff at USF.
What’s it like playing collegiate ball versus high school ball?
In Central Florida, you face a lot of good high-school baseball players. There’s a lot of pro prospects (who) come out of there, so there’s good talent. But college baseball is just like all the better players from your area and across the country on one team, so it’s definitely a lot better competition — better pitching, faster paced.
Who’s your favorite Olympian and why?
Michael Phelps. He’s getting pretty old, and he’s still out there winning medals.
What’s your favorite non-mainstream sport to watch in the Olympics?
Handball or beach volleyball. They’re both fast-moving sports; there’s always action going on. It’s not like you have to wait a while for something to happen.
What’s the coolest place you visited in Alaska?
I went the Mat-Su Valley Glacier. That was really cool. I also went hiking in Hatcher Pass. It was at the top of the mountains and it overlooks the whole valley.
What was your favorite memory at Olympia?
Winning my third district title was a good memory there. Senior year was fun. Senior prom; senior everything was awesome.
Year: Sophomore at USF
Position: Right field