Aaron Schaffer, Photo Editor

 Senior pitcher Jon Menke was awarded he Liberty League Pitcher of the Year at the end of last season, and after the doubleheader on Tuesday, March 26, he is looking to make an equally impressive mark this coming year. In game two against RPI, Menke pitched seven innings, allowing only four hits and one run.


What’s your major?

 I am a math and financial economics major.


When did you start playing baseball?

I’ve been playing baseball for almost as long as I can remember. All of my friends were playing it at the time, so I figured I should too. Turns out I have a really good arm, so I stuck with it.


Do you have a mentor who has helped you get where you are?

Jim Sakas, who has helped turn me into the pitcher I am today. I started seeing him when I was about 10 years old.


What is the best advice a coach has given you?

“Trust yourself.” At this point in my career, I have been pitching for 13 or so years. I know how to pitch. Settle down, and just throw the next pitch.


What has been your favorite baseball moment this season?

Our first game of the year has been the most exciting so far as it was an extra-inning thriller against Emory. With two outs in the top of the 10th inning, Nate Mulberg stepped to the plate and lined a base hit to center to score the go-ahead run.


What is the hardest part of baseball?

Everyone always talks about the grind of baseball. We play 40 games in about 60 days so when you get into a slump, it can be very tough to get out. 


What are your personal goals for the rest of the season?

I want to win every game I pitch. As long as we are winning games I’m happy. If I could repeat as Liberty League Pitcher of the Year I would be very happy as well.


Team goals?

My freshman year, we hosted the Liberty League Tournament because we finished first in the regular season. It would be great to do that again this year. 


What advice do you have for incoming players?

I would tell all incoming players to get in shape. If you want to be able to feel your legs after the first couple days of practice, then start running now.


What has it been like being a senior in your final year playing at UR?

Over the past four years, you play some great games and get to know some of the guys around the league. After a season ends, you realize this is the last time you’ll ever play against those guys.


Do you have any plans yet for after graduation?

Yes, actually my goal is to play baseball after college. I want to take my skills to the next level, so I  am hoping to get drafted this June.

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