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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on February 19th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 50 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 50

Marc Baker

Athlete of the week

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

Take one look at baseball player Marc Baker, and it’s easy to see he was made for pitching. The right-handed hurler stands at 6 feet, 6 inches and weighs 220 pounds, but he might as well be all arm.


Marc Baker
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLAN HANCOCK COLLEGE
A 2011 graduate from Nipomo High School, Baker was drafted out of high school to the San Diego Padres. But because they couldn’t work out the deal Baker was hoping for, the pitcher ended up at Allan Hancock College to work on his game in the hopes that he’ll make the draft again in two years.

Baseball coach Chris Stevens said the young pitcher is competitive and throws a lot of strikes.

“He has good command of his off-speed pitch, and I expect him to pitch on regular rest against all our top opponents,” he said.

The veteran coach added that Baker’s command of his off-speed pitch is uncommon for a young pitcher. But Baker, quiet and focused, said the changeup is something he wants to improve this season.

“I’m just working hard and staying healthy,” he said. “The team needs to stay confident—they know what they need to do.”

Although it’s still early for Bulldog baseball, the numbers from Baker look promising. In 13 innings pitched, Baker allowed just six hits and has had nine strikeouts; he’s currently boasting a 0.0 earned run average.

Baker performed exceedingly well in the Bulldogs’ game against Porterville, sitting down 20 batters with only one walk. Clocked anywhere from 80 to 87 miles per hour, Baker’s two-seam fastball, he said, is his best pitch—but he’s confident in all of them.

“I’ll throw any pitch to get a first pitch strike,” he said. “I just do my best to compete every pitch and get the guy out.”

Baker has been playing ball since he was able to walk and started pitching when he was 6 years old. The freshman cited his dad as his biggest inspiration and as the man who helped him understand the mental aspects of the game. Baker said the coaching staff at Hancock has been helpful as well.

“The coaches are more focused on you and more intense,” he said. “They taught me to stay focused and know my own mechanics.”

While Baker said the pressure that comes from being a pitcher is sometimes tough, he does his best to stay relaxed and loves being out on the field every day.

When it comes to game time, Baker said he usually stays quiet and keeps to himself to prepare.

He believes Santa Barbara City College will be the Bulldogs’ toughest competition this year. Baker has his sights set on the professional level, but wants to spend his time at Hancock honing his skills and focus.

“I want to keep progressing and get better every day,” he said.