From Second Base to Pitcher: McCarrell Pushes Biola Baseball to Postseason

After a slow start, Biola Baseball seeks to make a statement after first tournament berth since 2012

May. 12, 2016 By Drew Mattocks

Sean McCarrell may be one of the most fun pitchers to watch on the Biola Baseball team due to his unorthodox pitching method, but before he was ever called out of the bullpen to pitch for the Eagles, he was playing second base and shortstop, vastly different positions from pitching.

 

McCarrell, junior computer science major, pitched a total of one inning in his high school baseball career. He was a middle infield player with no intention of pitching for Biola when he joined the team in fall 2014.

 

As a freshman, McCarrell was fighting for a starting position in the middle infield when one day Head Baseball Coach Jay Sullenger and the rest of the pitching staff saw the movement on McCarrell’s ball as he was fielding and wanted to test him out on the mound.

 

“‘Wow, your ball moves a lot,’” said McCarrell quoting Sullenger during the the fielding practice. “‘Lets try you out in the bullpen later.”

 

During the pseudo tryout for a pitching spot the coaches were impressed by his unorthodox pitching method. McCarrell throws submarine style, where the ball is released underhand and very close to the ground, which produces a lot of unconventional movement on the ball making it difficult to hit.

 

The coaches were impressed and decided to place him in a relief position in the bullpen. McCarrell flourished in this position and he led the 2014 team with the lowest earned run average and opponents batting average. McCarrell also posted a team-leading WHIP of 1.09 and walked the fewest batters. Needless to say, McCarrell dominated the mound in 2014.

 

Since 2014, McCarrell has continued to play a solid role in the bullpen and has a record of two wins and a loss this year. He’s also twice been named as part of the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District team.This is an award that is only given to 18 baseball players from Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Hawaii, Idaho, N.M., Neb., Okla., Ore., Texas, Utah, Wash., Wyo. and all of Canada in recognition of academic excellence.

 

Biola’s Push to the Postseason

 

After a slow start (5-14), the Eagles rallied the last two-thirds of their season (23-11) and secured a spot in the postseason. They finished fifth in Golden State Athletic Conference with a 28-25 record. This will be Biola’s first postseason appearance since 2012.

 

McCarrell spoke to the feeling in the dugout after the 5-14 start.

 

“It felt like the last two years where we would start out slow,” said McCarrell. “We were more focused on ourselves and not on the team, we would give up. But this year the leaders of the team would not let that happen”

 

McCarrell credits the team’s captains, junior Jimmy Gallarda and junior Alec de Watteville, as well as junior JD Meyer and junior Sam Thorne for leading the team this year.

 

“We rallied around them and they lead us in where our team needs to go,” said McCarrell. “It was not just about the starters, but also those who would come in and do their job well.”

 

In the tournament the Eagles defeated Menlo College 4-2 on the back of senior starting pitcher Eric Diomartich’s dominant 8.1 innings of pitching. In their second game the Eagles defeated Westmont College 4-2 to advance to the semi-finals. They then handed The Master’s College a 3-2 loss and advanced to the championship series. In the first game of the championship series the Eagles got handed a 12-6 loss against the Master’s college. The Eagles will play The Master’s College on May 12 at noon for a winner take all game.

 

Written by Drew Mattocks, Public Relations Intern. For further information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or jenna.loumagne@biola.edu.

 

Post a Comment

Your email will not be published as part of your comment.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000