Hitters drowning in the Pond

By Ismael Morales |Staff Writer|

It’s game over when Josh Pond is called upon.
Pond has set the single-season saves record at CSUSB with 12 saves this season for the men’s baseball team.
“I like closing because I have one inning to give it all I got,” said Pond.
Every game comes with the possibility that the closer will be called upon as opposed to starting when a pitcher only gets to pitch about once a week.
Pond’s success not only comes from his hard work but also from the help of his coaches. Pond came to CSUSB as a side arm pitcher throwing between 85 and 87 mph. The coaching staff made Pond an over the top pitcher which increased his velocity from 87 to 94 mph.
“Pond’s hides the ball well, he is very deceptive,” said coach Kurt Stange.
Velocity, location and deception are signs of a good pitcher.
“Pond was our project guy, but he has blossomed,” said Stange.
Confidence and mental toughness are needed to get the last three outs of a ball game.
Pond displayed his mental toughness in a game against CSU East Bay. With the Coyotes nursing a one run lead, the leadoff man got on with a double and went to third on a passed ball.
Rather than panic, Pond responded by striking out the next batter, getting the next hitter out on a fly to center field and striking out the final batter to get out of the jam and record the save.
“I feel like no one can touch me; I have no jitters,” said Pond.
Pond also displays a quiet confidence that is evident on and off the field.
“Pond is a very talented kid. He is a hard worker, has great temperament and does not panic,” said pitching coach Stange.
Not only has Pond set the single-season saves record; he also leads the team with a 1.53 ERA, in opposing batting average with .167 against him and he has 26 strike outs in only 17 appearances.
During the current baseball season Pond has saved 12 out of 13 games.
With 12 games remaining in the season it’s very likely that Pond will add to his record. Pond’s goal for the remainder of the season is to break the NCAA saves record which is at 19.
Pond also hopes to get drafted.
His out pitch is the fast ball. He hopes to improve his slider and his change-up which will make him an even better pitcher. If Pond improves those two pitches his odds of getting drafted will greatly improve.
Pond’s preparation starts in the 7th inning when he begins to warm up. He plays out scenarios and also goes over scouting reports.
In the offseason Pond has done a lot of running and leg lifting to stay in game shape. He generates a lot of power in those legs to increase the velocity of his pitches in the final moments of the game.
Pond’s favorite closer is Trevor Hoffman who is the current saves leader of Major League Baseball with 601 saves.

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