After only 12 games in the regular season, junior catcher Steve Just has already put up Liberty League and NCAA first team all-star numbers.

Hailing from only an hour away, in Liverpool, N.Y., the financial economics major put up an impressive .500 batting average and team high seven runs batted in over the four Liberty League games during the weekend.

Along with strong academic skills that earned him a spot on the all academic teams for the University Athletic Association and Liberty League in 2009, Just also boasts a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

With a demanding conference schedule ahead for the baseball team, they are going to need the strong offensive and defensive presence that Just brings to the team.

Why did you come to UR?

A lot of it had to do with baseball. I wanted to go somewhere where I could play. I liked the team here, the coach and that is mainly what swayed my decision.

Outside of baseball, what do you like to do?
I like to play a lot of different sports and watch sports. Pick-up basketball, football and a lot of stuff like that on the weekends.

As a catcher, how do you balance your offensive and defensive games?
I have always been very offensively oriented. So one thing that I have had to focus on when I got to college is my defense. Now, defense is definitely a priority as a catcher because if you can’t run the pitching staff then you are not going to be on the field. At the same time because I have always been offensively focused, I don’t have to worry about that as much. I just let it happen and I know I’m going to be okay in that department.

Who is your favorite pitcher to catch?
I didn’t do a lot of catching last year so this year I am still trying to get familiar with all the different pitchers. I don’t think there is anyone I have caught more than once this year yet.

What do you think about during a big at-bat?
I just try to sing a song in my head. Usually it is my walk up song. It is ‘dead or alive” by Bon Jovi. So that is usually just playing in my mind. I try not to think about much else other than that.

Baseball players are known to be superstitious. Do you have any strange superstitions?
Actually, I am probably one of the least superstitious baseball players. I don’t have any routines during the game, I don’t have anything I do before an at-bat and I don’t wear anything special. I would say I am pretty non-superstitious but we do have a lot of guys that are.

What is your favorite play to run?
This year, with our new assistant coach, he really likes pick-off moves. We have started running a pick-off to third base, which I like because most teams don’t expect it. It throws them off a little bit and keeps them on their toes. It is just a good way late in the games to steal an out when we are in a tight spot.

How can your team have continued success in the Liberty League division this year?
We need to need to stay focused. We have had that problem in the past, just losing focus as the year goes on. Having fun is a big thing. When you have been practicing since we get here in the fall, it is easy to get burned out but we have to keep having fun, focus on our defense. Also the little things like bunts, steal and thing like that where other teams can’t do much to stop it when we are executing.

Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.

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