Athlete of the Week Interview: Jeb Bemiss
BRSN: Jeb, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. What was your mindset going into the weekend?
Jeb: We do a lot of preparation during the week leading up to a series, and I think as a pitching staff we feel well prepared for whatever matchups we’re going to face. Coach Pep and I have worked hard on pitch shaping and sequencing and that preparation really pays off it allows me to simplify when I’m competing and just focus on getting in good counts and taking advantage of those counts.
BRSN: How did you first get started with baseball, and what kept you in the sport?
Jeb: I’ve played baseball since little league. I think the appeal to me is the way the sport requires you to commit constant effort to improve and adapt, but also rewards that effort when you reach a level of really being in control of your game. There’s a lot of examples of guys on our team are finding a lot of success right now that stems directly from grit and a determination to work hard through periods of failure. John Natoli is a great example – he’s been a stud on the mound this year for us this year. He’s put in a ton of work and had to overcome a tough injury last season to have this opportunity and he has continued to set an example for our guys on what it takes to be really good.
BRSN: Why did you choose Cornell?
Jeb: During the recruiting process I really believed in the vision Coach Pep had for the program and wanted to be a part of this group.
BRSN: What is your greatest baseball memory?
Jeb: My freshman year I got a save in our opening game at Navy. It wasn’t a particularly important game in our season, but my parents drove up to watch the series and it meant a lot to me to be able to share that moment with them – they’ve made a huge investment in my success over the years.
BRSN: How do you like to prepare for games?
Jeb: Our coaches do a great job of getting us prepared physically, but in baseball your mental preparation and mindset are a huge part of performing at a high level. Our pitching staff does a great job of balancing intensity and focus in practice and competition with a relaxed and fun culture during the down time in a season. As a pitching staff we spend a lot of time together and that ‘down-time’ culture becomes really important in developing cohesion and trust for when you’ve got to rely on each other to execute and win games. When the schedule was released in the fall, the first thing Seth Urbon did was research the hotels we would be staying at to see which ones have hot tubs – when we are on a road trip at one of those hotels the pitching staff takes full advantage.
BRSN: What are your expectations for this season?
Jeb: With three weekends left we are not where we would’ve liked to be in the Ivy-League standings, but we’ve still got a lot to play for and we haven’t lost any edge in terms of our competitiveness or drive to win. We shutout Harvard this past Sunday and we’ve still got Princeton, Penn, and Dartmouth left on the schedule – any chance we get to stick it to those teams are reason enough for our guys to get fired up and compete.