Rounding the Bases with Robert Morey
Robert Morey has made a big transformation just in the last couple of weeks. A reliever for the first season and a half at UVa, Morey earned his first start two weeks ago at then-No. 8 Georgia Tech and shined, then followed it up with 7.2 scoreless innings in a win at Boston College last Sunday. The Virginia Beach native is slated to start Sunday afternoon against NC State as well. Today he talks with VirginiaSports.com about his recent success, as well as his admittance into the Commerce school at Virginia and his tastes in music.
Question: What was working for you last weekend?
Morey: Throughout the week we worked really hard on my curveball and slider and my skill work. Luckily I got a lot of rest so by the time Sunday came, everything was clicking. My fastball was working, the curveball was breaking in there and the slider was good.
Question: What is the difference in the structure of your week as a starter?
Morey: It’s a little easier to prepare when you are starting because you know when you’re pitching. As a reliever you come to the ballpark and you don’t know whether you are going to throw that day. Some guys thrive off of that. I learned to deal with it last year and over the summer, and I think it helped me become a starter because I could focus on exactly what I needed to prepare for that day.
Question: Was it your plan to be a starter?
Morey: It absolutely is something that I wanted to do, right from when I came into Virginia. Last year we had such good pitchers, with Jacob Thompson and Pat McAnaney, that I was happy to go into the reliever role. I’m excited that the coaches gave me to opportunity to start when they did, and fortunately I’ve been able to capitalize on it.
Question: Was it a surprise when Coach O’Connor came up to you at Georgia Tech and told you that you were going to start the Sunday game?
Morey: Actually it was because I hadn’t been told anything prior to that. They took me off the docket for the second game on Saturday, and Coach O’Connor came up to me and told me that he had a lot of confidence in me and to trust my stuff.
Question: Do you think it was better that you only had a day of notice rather than a full week to get nervous and think about it?
Morey: I think it definitely was better to do it like that for my first start. Thinking about it all week probably would have just increased the nerves. I felt really good out there and I was comfortable.
Question: You hit a little rough patch earlier this season. What is the difference from then to now?
Morey: I think it was all mental. Back then, what I was thinking was translating into what I was doing on the mound. I really had to sit down and reflect and start thinking positive about everything I was doing on the mound. I just had to go out there and do the job.
Question: Does that help you down the road that you have already battled through a rough stretch?
Morey: I don’t think anything can take the place of experience. Once you have gone through something whether you’ve seen other guys do it or you’ve done it yourself, you know you can do it and you have that confidence.
Question: Your confidence has to be pretty high right now.
Morey: I’ve had great responses from my teammates, and that’s really what has helped me the most. I can tell they have a lot of confidence in me. It is very comforting.
Question: You get your first home start this weekend.
Morey: It will be nice for my parents to know when I’m pitching. They can schedule when to come out. It will be a cool experience. I’ve been here for almost two years now and knowing that I’m starting is going to be exciting.
Question: You were recently accepted into Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. Talk about the process of getting into that.
Morey: The Comm school wasn’t something that I immediately knew about when I came to Virginia. After (Andrew) Carraway and Neal (Davis) got in, I started to learn about it. This year I started taking the prerequisites to get into it. I turned in the application and didn’t know if I would get in, but I am really excited it worked out.
Question: Do you know what you want to do yet?
Morey: I have no idea. I like to keep the doors open whenever I can. Even if I don’t go into some investment or business field, I feel that it will really benefit me.
Question: Finals start in a week. Are you excited for it to get here and get it over with or are you just dreading it?
Morey: I never dread finals. I tucker myself out in the library for a few nights and I usually try to go with some friends so I try to enjoy it some. Some classes I see it as an opportunity and others I am just ready to get it done.
Question: What do you like to do outside of baseball?
Morey: I’m from the beach, and over the summer my friends and I always go tubing. It’s such a rush. I love all kinds of sports. In the summer I like to cross train by playing lacrosse not actually playing, but just shooting. I listen to a lot of music and enjoy going to concerts.
Question: What kind of music?
Morey: All kinds. I like Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus. I’ll delve into some others as well. I went to OAR and Dave Matthews Band concerts. Recently I was introduced to Kings of Leon.