By Ryan Navaroli |Staff Writer|
Kerrey Kelley enters his final season as the Coyotes ace pitcher.
After graduating from Palmdale High School in 2010, Kelley knew CSUSB was the right choice.
“I chose CSUSB because it was close to home and I liked how the pitchers have always succeeded here. I believe it has worked out well for me,” said Kelley.
Kelley has always had supporters fill the stands at his games.
“My family and my girlfriend come to every single game. My grandparents have also never missed a game. They have had my back since day one. The support I get from all of them means so much to me,” said Kelley.
Kelley reflects on the biggest thrill that college baseball has given him.
“There is nothing like pitching in the late innings of a baseball game when the score is close and all the pressure is on the pitcher. That situation is where I shine the most. I get a great thrill out of that whether I succeed or not,” said Kelley.
Kelley has many memorable moments from being the only freshman on the team his freshmen year to being an All-League player in his sophomore year and pitching in the playoffs.
However, there is one moment that tops the rest about a former Coyotes player that will never be forgotten.
“During this past summer, our team lost Jake Pilkerton, who was our team leader last year and more importantly a great friend. Hearing the news was the saddest moment of my life. There are no words for how devastated everyone was,” said Kelley.
Kelley will always remember his career playing with his beloved teammate as the most memorable.
“Every single moment that I spent with Jake from pitching with him behind me on the field, going out to dinner with him and teammates, and hearing all of the stories that he had. This guy was ‘the man’ and I am lucky to call him my friend,” said Kelley.
Kelley, a political science major, talks about his future after Coyotes Baseball.
“I have two options: I can either go for my master’s degree, or go into national defense and politics when my baseball career ends and I have graduated with my degree,” said Kelley.
A College World Series championship would mean the most to Kelley to end his final senior season as a Coyote.
“We must win at least 3 games a series. If we give 100 percent as a team, we will win each inning. Our team is capable of doing something special this year,” said Kelley.
Kelley is seen as a leader of the pitching staff and leader of the team meetings in the clubhouse.
His familiar quote is often said on the field.
“I’ll always say ‘You gotta want it.’ I tell my teammates this everyday because it means a lot to me,” said Kelley.
He added, “It gets my teammates to want to win, want to be there, and want to have a good time.” Kelley continues, “when we all want it, then we will all have a great year,” said Kelley.