Feb. 8, 2013

CBI Ivy League preview

Inside: With Cornell's Kellen Urbon

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

phil@collegebaseballinsider.com  @RoadToOmaha


Not many All-Americans come from the Ivy League, but Kellen Urbon is the exception.


The sophomore from San Diego is a Preseason All-American after earning Freshman All-America honors a season ago. Urbon dominated out of the pen for the Big Red, going 3-1 while leading the team with 22 appearances and setting program records with nine saves and 0.47 ERA. Opponents hit just .170 against the right-hander and only four of the 23 hits he surrendered were for extra bases, all doubles.


He helped Cornell win its division and earn the right to host Dartmouth in the best-of-three championship series. Urbon tossed five scoreless innings in Game 3 of the series, notching the victory and securing the Ivy League championship. The Big Red advanced to the Chapel Hill Regional, dropping a 7-4 decision to host North Carolina before a 10-6 loss to East Carolina ended the season.


Cornell went 31-17-1 overall in 2012, including 22-9-1 in away games. The Big Red was 14-6 in league play.


1. What made your transition so smooth from high school to college baseball?

Having a good group of upperclassmen really helped me make the transition on the field. They really led by example and they taught me that the game doesn't change just because you are facing better competition. Staying confident was also a key thing. I tried not to let poor appearances affect how I handled myself on the field. Also the coaching staff was very helpful in the transition by preparing us mentally for whatever we would face on the field.

2. How thrilling was it to win the Ivy League Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament?

It was an exhilarating experience when we won the Ivy League championship because we had been working for that championship series the entire year and to actually be able to host it and win it in such a dramatic fashion was amazing. Our team motto the entire year was "working for a regional" and to actually make that happen was a big boost of confidence in ourselves. Our regional trip was just as exciting and it was fun to play such good competition. The brief stint last year at the regionals definitely served as even more motivation for this upcoming season for the returning players.

3. Do you have any personal goals for the 2013 season?

A personal goal I have for this season is to help my team get back to another regional. I believe that we have the talent to get back there again and do some damage once we are there. My goal is to do my job to help the team win.

4. Besides the weather, what do you miss most from Southern California?

The thing I miss most about Southern California is definitely the Mexican food; a California burrito to be specific. If anyone's unsure about what that is, it's close to a Carne asada burrito with French fries in it. You have to experience it to understand it.

5. Have you declared a major yet and what is your most difficult class this semester?

I just recently declared to be an Economics major. I'm just getting into the upper level Economics classes and they are definitely my most challenging courses this semester.


(photos courtesy of Cornell Media Relations)