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Vitek: Ball State's Triple
By Michael Perry
it comes down to it, winning baseball games takes three things:
pitching, hitting and fielding. Fortunately for Ball State,
junior Kolbrin Vitek has a handle on all three.
Vitek a right-handed
hurler, infielder and solid three-spot hitter, has received his
share of accolades, including the
Louisville Slugger preseason second team All-America and being
named top prospect in the Great Lakes Summer League by
most grounded athletes, Vitek says he pays no attention to those
sorts of praises and made it clear that he’s a team player.
usually don't even know about a preseason award until someone
calls to tell me,” said Vitek, who won the Great Lakes Summer
League’s triple crown. “I will just set those aside and go out
and have fun playing the game with no added pressure from things
Although Vitek is rightfully concerned with team
goals, helping BSU in all three facets of the game has certainly
made him a precious commodity to the program.
Last season Vitek split his time between third
base and designated hitter, while also making 11 weekend starts
on the mound. From the rubber, he recorded a team-leading 56
strikeouts with only nine walks and an overall record of 4-3 in
his 57.1 innings.
At the plate, he led the Cardinals in home runs
(13), doubles (25) and RBI (67) and was second with a .389
average. He was a first-team MAC selection at the utility
Clearly Vitek is not your typical
such a well-rounded athlete, Vitek expressed that he has always
found his comfort zone swinging the bat.
most comfortable at the plate,” Vitek said. “Hitting has always
been my favorite part about playing ball, so that is where I
have become most comfortable.”
BSU coach Greg Beals
realizes what a rare talent he has in Vitek.
Vitek pitches with a fastball into the low 90s and an uncanny
ability to command four pitches from two different arm angles,”
Beals said. “Combine that with a 6-3 body, a sub 6.6 second
60-yard dash and the ability to hit for average and power, you
end up with a top prospect.”
With remarks like that coming from the top, it
would be easy for Vitek to become overconfident, but his love of
the game and commitment to the program resounds throughout his
goals for this season are to have a better season than my last
two, and win a MAC championship,” Vitek said of the 2010 season.
“Advance to the Regional for that experience, and have some good
luck with the professional draft come June.”
Vitek, a cerebral athlete
also understands the importance of mental competition in
favorite part about the game of baseball is the knowledge and
experience you have to gain about the game to realize that you
have become the type of player you have always wanted to be,”
Vitek said. “You have to have a very good understanding about
this game and have the experience to know the kind of work that
needs to be done in order to be a standout player.”
from Bryan, Ohio, has high hopes of playing at the professional
level and realizes the importance of continually working on his
have high aspirations for turning into a professional,” Vitek
said. “Hitting will always carry any player more than any other
attribute, so I will look to that to give me the edge of
Looking back at his career, Vitek named his
father as his source of strength and his first coach.
father has always been my greatest supporter and influence,”
Vitek said. “He has been the best coach for me my entire life
and has never missed a game that he could be at.”
Whether Vitek is closing out a weekend series on the mound,
turning the double play at second or setting up the clean-up
hitter, he is sure to be a sight to see and a great asset to BSU.
and the Cardinals open their season in Fayetteville, Ark.,
against the Razorbacks on Feb. 19
(photos courtesy of Ball State Media Relations Office)