Freshman Feature: Nicholas Binnie
Freshman pitcher Nicholas Binnie has lived and breathed baseball ever since he could play tee-ball. Growing up in a baseball family in North Canton, Ohio, Nicholas got as much exposure to the game of baseball as possible quickly becoming a local and national high school star. As a sophomore at Hoover High School, Nicholas was named first-team all-league and won his league’s batting title. As a senior, he led his league and county in runs batted in en route to being named second-team all-region, first-team all-county, and first-team all-league. Nicholas attributes his early baseball success to his summer ball coach, Rob McNerney, as well as high school coaches Jeff Hite and Bryan Ashby.
While participating at a Perfect Game 17U showcase in Atlanta, GA, Binnie caught the eyes of collegiate coaches everywhere, including several from the Ivy League and Mid-American Conferences. However, after one visit to campus, Nicholas knew that Cornell was the right university and program for him to continue his academic and baseball careers. He says, “I liked Coach Pep (Dan Pepicelli) and his pitching knowledge, especially coming from a large SEC school.” While multiple universities considered giving Nicholas the opportunity to both pitch and hit, Nicholas feels comfortable committing to being a full-time pitcher because he believes the position will ultimately have his highest ceiling.
Nicholas has experienced drastic changes in his baseball lifestyle since graduating high school. “You go from being the best player and leader on your high school team to the bottom of the totem poll. Luckily, the team has been really inclusive. The coaches don’t treat you like freshmen. They expect you to know what to do and to do it.” Training wise, Nicholas mentioned that he went from throwing once a week in high school to throwing five to six times a week this past fall. Rather than playing the field, he follows a set throwing schedule, which at first made his arm feel noticeably different. But eventually, he felt more comfortable in his routine. In the fall, he worked extensively to improve his velocity before transitioning to stamina training in the winter. Now, Nicholas must focus on keeping a consistent rhythm throughout the season.