By Will Maldonado
Cal State East Bay freshman outfielder Charlie Sharrer is a sparkplug at the plate for the Pioneer baseball team.
In 50 games this season Sharrer hit for a .313 average, scored 34 runs, and had 38 runs batted in for the Pioneers.
Late in the season Sharrer got red hot for the Pioneers as he helped to push them up a few spaces in the standings.
In his last four games Sharrer went 5 for 17 while hitting three of his five home runs, including a walk-off game-winning home run in his last at bat of the season.
The strong finish capped an amazing season and helped serve notice to the coaches and players of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) that he was no freshmen pushover.
Following the season’s final game Sharrer was named Freshmen of the Year, an award undoubtedly earned.
The Pioneer was able to reach Sharrer for an interview on his amazing season, winning freshmen of the year, and baseball’s place in his life, the transcript follows below.
Question: How did it feel to be named freshmen of the year for your conference?
Answer: Being named conference freshman of the year is the best award I have gotten in my career so far. I was really excited about it when coaches told me.
Q: What do you think contributed to your success this year?
A: I would say (assistant) coach John Carrion helping me adjust my swing to where it needs to be contributed a lot to my success this year. Also I think my teammates all helped me learn the ropes of college baseball this year.
Q: What do you think you can improve on next year in order to have an even better season?
A: Over the summer I need to work on my speed so I can steal more bases next season and I will also be lifting weights over the summer so I can hit more homeruns. Lifting weights will also help with my endurance so I am at 100% even at the end of the season.
Q: What’s the difference between playing high school ball and playing college ball?
A: I would say the difference between college ball and high school ball is the talent. In high school there were teams that weren’t that good but in college every team is good and has good players that challenged me over the year.
Q: Why did you choose Cal State East Bay? Did baseball play a part in that?
A: I choose Cal State East Bay because I wanted to get away from home for college. Baseball played a big role in coming here also because I only had two choices for college baseball, here or CSULA and that is just too close to home for me.
Q: How do you think the team will do next year, are you excited for your second season?
A: Next year I think we will do even better than we did this year because we have that extra year of experience in D2 and we will know how each team plays and there tendencies . So I think we will do a lot better next year.
Q: When and why did you first start to play baseball? When did you really start to love the game?
A: I started playing baseball when I was five because my dad signed me up. It was really only something to do for the first two years but I think my third year of playing was the year I actually started liking to play. Then as I worked harder and harder on getting better I started to love it because it is like anything you put hard work into, you are going to love it.
Q: When did you discover how good you were relative to other players your age?
A: To be honest I never really played with players my age. I always played with kids that were older than me. All the way up through pony ball, on travel ball teams and even in high school. I made varsity and started my sophomore year so I was playing guys a year and two years older than me.
Q: How did it feel to hit a walk off home run to win a game in your last at bat of the season?
A: The walk off home run was one of my favorite baseball memories. It felt that much better because it was against CSULA because they tried recruiting me. But it felt even better when we won on Sunday to complete the sweep. Helping the seniors get a sweep on their last series is probably what made it feel that much better.
Q: What is your favorite baseball memory?
A: My most memorable baseball moment was when I got a walk-off single to help my team go to the championship game of the R.B.I. World Series. Then the most memorable game I played in was the championship game of the R.B.I. World Series because it was on national T.V. and it was the last thing my grandma got to see me do is play baseball on T.V.