Baseball Closes Out Season, Bids Farewell to Seniors

Photo courtesy of csueb athletics department

Phillip Davis

Senior relief pitcher Johnny Volk has been offered a marketing job with the Oakland A’s after graduation.

The CSU East Bay baseball season concluded with a four-game winning streak against Grand Canyon University, which ended the Pioneers’ season record at 18-32.

Sometimes, the game is about more than wins and losses, and for this team it is apparent through camaraderie and a never-give-up mentality.

The Pioneer baseball team will leave its players with lifelong friendships and bonds will be forged from being such a tight knit group.

Seniors realize this more than any of the players, as this will be their last year playing collegiately.

“I would say that the relationships that you build with your teammates has been the best part,” said senior relief pitcher Johnny Volk, 22. “Not only do you help one another with baseball, but school, resume help and religion have all been areas where I have sought my teammates’ advice.”

Although this year will be his final one, Volk had a great take on the season and his final moments as a senior.

“You know baseball is a rough game,” said Volk.

“One day you can have the best outing of your life, and the next game guys are scoring runs like it is no one’s business. Finishing the season on a high note is all I could ask for being a senior.”

Volk was an intricate part in the final game’s last series, holding Grand Canyon scoreless for the game’s last inning.

Volk was just offered a marketing job by Fastenal and will continue working in promotions for the Oakland A’s.

Senior infielder Nick McManus, 22, finished the season with a team high batting average of .333—his second consecutive season leading the team in batting average.

McManus, who has been an offensive machine for CSUEB the past two seasons, transferred from Saddleback College in 2010.

McManus lead the team in eight offensive categories this season. He shares the same sentiments as his teammate Volk, that baseball is a tool that helps build personal relationships between players.

“The experience of being on a team and pulling together has really been the best part,” said McManus. “I have made so many friendships that I plan on having for the rest of my life. To me, that is the best part.”

Senior infielder Nick McManus lead the team in eight offensive categories this season, and is leaving the team with a batting average of .333.

McManus focused on being a feared hitter in the league, and he did just that with his two seasons at CSUEB, leading the team in hits. He even broke a school record in 2010 with 82 hits.

“Even though it looks like I had a better year last year, I feel like I did more for the team this year,” he said.

Pitcher Zachary Wong, 19, will be returning next season and looking to improve over the summer on his secondary pitches and getting his walk count down.

The seniors showed that they did more than lead the team offensively—they gave advice to the underclassmen.

“One thing I learned from them was that, though they passed through their four years too fast, to them it still feels like it was just yesterday,” said Wong. “Those years are over, and they went by too quickly.”

Wong plans on enjoying the rest of his time at CSUEB on the mound, loving every minute of it.

The seniors this year feel truly fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to play baseball, travel and get an education.

“When I came to East Bay it just felt right,” said McManus. “I knew I could come here and help the team, I didn’t know I could come and do as well as I did.

“I am truly blessed to be in the record books here at East Bay. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates who pushed me to do as well as I possibly could.”
Pitcher Johnny Volk feels similarly.

“There are a lot of cool things that come with being an athlete, but the thing I will miss the most is being able to play the game at such a highly competitive level,” said Volk.

“Playing baseball here these past four seasons has led me to six different states, and I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to parts of the country that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.”

Baseball is a game that can be measured by more than how you play it, but rather what you gain from playing it.