The Windermere High baseball team is halfway through its 2021 season, and senior Jack Bellah has dominated on the mound for the Wolverines. The University of West Florida commit picked up his first win a few weeks back — throwing a complete-game shutout — and continues to be a go-guy for head coach Eric Lassiter on the mound.
When did you first get into baseball?
Actually, I got into baseball super early — I started playing baseball when I was 3 years old. My dad played college baseball at Kennesaw State University, so pretty much as soon as I could swing a bat and throw a ball, he put me into T-ball when I was 3 or 4, and from there, started playing travel ball when I was 6.
What has kept you motivated to stay in the sport?
What’s always kept me motivated is that there is no endgame in this sport — until you’re a Cy Young winner or you’re the highest-paid player in the Major Leagues. So I feel like I’m always trying to reach the next level. So right now, I’m trying to dominate high school to get to college baseball, dominate there and then go pro after that. I just feel like there is a next level for everything in baseball.
What is your favorite part about pitching? The most challenging part?
My favorite part about pitching is the mind game … I love the mental side of everything. That comes in many forms — a thing I take great pride in is being prepared for starts, because in my opinion, if you have a start, 90% of it is going to be about how you prepare for it, and the 10% is just putting it together on game day. Also, there is the mind game like, “What does the hitter think is coming? Where am I going to throw this pitch?” The hardest part is having a short memory, because if you have a rough start or bad start, you have an entire week to dwell on it. You have to have pretty strong memory to just brush that.
You’re big on baseball analytics when it comes to your pitching. Why is that?
I absolutely love the scientific side of it, because you can go on a Rapsodo unit and see your spin rate, see your true spin and your spin efficiency and all of these different stats that can help with pitch design like a slider. I’m constantly messing with my grips — just tweaking tiny things to try and get more spin and horizontal movement and stuff like that.
Do you have a highlight moment during your time at Windermere?
Definitely the district titles in the first couple of years were awesome, and then my sophomore year when we went to the regional final. I remember in the regional quarterfinal, we walked it off to win versus Lake Howell — I think it was. But honestly, I would probably have to say yesterday (Wednesday, March 3) was the best moment for me — getting the complete-game shutout and finishing that game off with the double play to end the game.