Rounding the Bases with Steven Proscia
Freshman infielder Steven Proscia has started his Virginia career with a bang. In his first five games (all Virginia wins), he is hitting .526 (10-for-19) with three doubles, two home runs, seven runs scored and nine runs batted in. The Suffern, N.Y., native sat down to talk with VirginiaSports.com about his strong start to the season, his football background and his acclimation to college life, among other things.
Question: Tell us about your first weekend obviously it was a pretty good one.
Proscia: It was a pretty good start. I was happy I was able to hit some balls over the fence and get some base hits to help the team win.
Question: There was a woman running around and up and down the stairs last weekend who was hugging everyone after your home runs.
Proscia: That was definitely my mother. What’s funny about that was after I hit my first home run, I was rounding first base and I could hear my mom screaming. It’s typical of her she gets excited for everybody. But I can always pick her voice out of everyone.
Question: What was your first semester in college like, combining a tough class load with baseball?
Proscia: It definitely was a big transition from high school to college for me. The biggest thing was my time management. I had to manage my time a lot better. I had the same class schedule every day and I juggled baseball with that, so I basically just stuck to the same routine every day and that helped me a lot.
Question: How tough has it been playing baseball every day year-round after playing football in the fall previously?
Proscia: That was another big transition for me because I was used to playing football in the fall and not much fall baseball, so coming here I transitioned right from the summer into the fall and was still taking ground balls and still hitting. I felt like I was hitting forever. I was never used to that, but baseball is my love so it wasn’t too hard.
Question: Does the football background help you when it comes to playing baseball?
Proscia: Yes, I had a great high school coach in Greg Toal. He taught me a lot of morals and things that help me as I play baseball. That football mentality gives me a hard-nosed type of play when I go out and play baseball. It definitely transitions well from the football field to the baseball field.
Question: You played on some pretty special teams in high school. What was that experience like?
Proscia: We had a great team my junior and senior year in football. It was great to win two state championships back-to-back to finish off my senior year. Actually, my senior year I didn’t lose a game we ended up going undefeated in football and baseball. It was definitely a special year.
Question: So you’ve got quite the winning streak going now with five straight wins at UVa.
Proscia: Yes, It’s been a pretty long time. I don’t want to start losing anytime soon.
Question: This team is incredibly close, which is interested considering you have 13 freshmen. How have you all managed this kind of unity this fast?
Proscia: We definitely got really close in the fall and developed a lot of friendships with the upperclassmen. They accepted us into the program. We don’t like to look at our team as being young, we just like to go out there every day and do what we have to do.
Question: Tell us about your first Iron Cavalier Challenge, which is the annual obstacle course at the end of the fall season. Grueling is probably an understatement.
Proscia: That was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I went through a lot of tough summer sessions in football, but that was nothing like we did here. From the moment I started on the football field (at Scott Stadium) to the moment I ended here on the baseball field, it was unbelievable.
Question: It has to be a pretty big sense of accomplishment when you finish it.
Proscia: It’s the greatest. When you get through, you have to feel good about what you’ve just done. Even the kids that finished toward the end, we were all picking them up and were down there with them. That just shows our team unity.
Question: What do you like to do outside of baseball?
Proscia: There’s not a lot of free time I’m either studying or playing baseball. But in my leisure time, I like to hang out, we like to watch some college basketball or play ESPN Beat the Streak.