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Nine Innings with Cameron Rupp
By Phil Stanton
Cameron Rupp is a junior catcher at the
University of Texas. A native of Plano, Texas, Rupp is a
two-year starter for the Longhorns.
A season ago, Rupp played in 63 games with 60
starts behind the plate. He batted .292 with 11 home runs and 46
RBI. Rupp helped Texas reach the College World Series, finishing
second to LSU. Rupp was named to the Austin Regional
All-Tournament Team and the College World Series All-Tournament
A Freshman All-American in 2008, Rupp appeared in
54 games as a rookie with 51 starts at catcher. He hit .309 with
17 doubles, four homers and 32 RBI.
Rupp caught all 25 innings in a 3-2 win over Army
in the 2009 Austin Regional. He has been behind the plate for
two Texas no-hitters, Kenn Kasparek against Texas State in 2008
and Brandon Workman against Penn State in 2009.
Rupp recently took time to answer our questions.
First Inning – The Longhorns finished second
at the 2009 College World Series. Do you put that behind you or
use it as motivation for 2010?
Absolutely we will be using every bit of that
loss last year to motivate us in 2010. I can speak for everyone
else on the 2009 team and as well for any other team that has
finished second in anything. You never strive for second place.
You want it all and that’s what we are going for. We will use a
lot of experience in this upcoming year to help the team get to
that ultimate goal at the end.
Second Inning – How has the attitude of the
team been during preseason practice?
The attitude this winter and early spring has
shown that we are really beginning to become the definition of a
team. We have been working together better than ever at this
point and have really shown a lot of chemistry. We all are
getting very anxious for this season to start and we are ready
to see someone in a different uniform.
Third Inning – Texas is the consensus No. 1 in
the preseason polls. Is that an advantage or disadvantage for
I really do not think that being No. 1 is an
advantage or a disadvantage especially for the preseason because
you haven't played anyone yet. You have to go out to play every
day and stay within yourself and play the game and not worry
about the rankings. But what you really need to ask yourself is
what is it going take for this team to be No. 1 at the end of
Fourth Inning – You had 60 starts behind the plate
a season ago. How did your body feel after the College World
Series? Would you prefer fewer starts this season?
After last season I was still good shape and
ready to continue playing. I still felt like I could play more
games even after the World Series. I enjoy playing every day and
being a part of every pitch. I feel like if I want to be
successful at the next level I am going to have to be able to
catch 160 games a year and still be productive and ready for
Fifth Inning – How do you balance your
offensive approach at the plate and your defensive approach
behind the plate?
When I am on offense and our team is hitting my
focus is on the tendencies of the pitcher to see if there is any
way I can find a slight edge for me to win the at-bat. I feel
like being a catcher I am able to have better pitch recognition
and knowing the umpire’s strike zone is also an advantage.
Defensively I am looking to use the pitcher’s strengths to help
him set up the hitters to keep them off balance. I am also
looking to make sure I am always on the same page with my
pitcher at all times.
A way that we all look at it is that when its time to play
defense you forget about your at-bat and get focused on being
ready for the ball. If you make an error, don't bring it to your
at-bat. Start over, regroup and have confidence you’re going to
get the job done
Sixth Inning – How valuable is it for the
Longhorns to have a veteran catcher working with a veteran staff
It's an advantage that we have worked together
for a couple years so I think this a huge confidence booster. I
feel the most important part is that I am always on the same
page as the pitchers. We have worked together for a couple
years. And for some like Brandon Workman and Stayton Thomas,
it's been since we were 9 years old. I believe that helps a lot
because I have developed such a good relationship with these
guys. I feel like they know I am going to do what it takes to
get all they can give each time the get on the mound.
Seventh Inning – How have you been fortunate
enough to catch two no-hitters while at Texas? Do you handle the
pitchers differently in the late innings of a no-hitter?
I have been very fortunate to work with Kenn and
Brandon over the last few years and being able to share those
moments with them was very special. I feel that if their stuff
has been good enough for the first seven innings then you have
to continue to use their strengths on that day. There is no
reason to change anything when it is work so well.
Eighth Inning – How was it to catch all 25
innings in the Longhorns’ 3-2 win over Army in last season’s
It was awesome to be part of a huge historical
night in college baseball. It was amazing being able to catch
Austin Wood's outstanding performance that many will never
forget and it was awesome to win because it was just the
beginning of the magical run we made to Omaha.
Ninth Inning – Your father, Kevin, played
baseball at the University of Houston. Did you give serious
thought to playing for the Cougars?
I always thought about following in my dad's
footsteps growing up but when I received the chance to play at
the University of Texas, which has been a lifetime dream, it
was an opportunity I could not pass up.
(photo courtesy of Texas Media Relations