SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga shortstop Ernie Yake rarely ever strikes out.
According to NCAA.com, he’s third toughest player to strikeout in college baseball. Yake has stuck out only 13 times in 204 at bats this season.
“He was just born with it," Gonzaga baseball head coach Mark Machtolf said. "He’s got a natural knack for seeing pitches and staying on balance.”
He says the key to preventing it from happening is to be strong mentally.
“It’s all about moving on from those ones," Yake said. "Kind of just look at it as a fluke.”
The Gonzaga pitchers he faced off against in fall scrimmages have seen it first hand.
“Whether you’re throwing a 92 per hour fastball or a 75 mile per hour change up. He finds a way to be on time with every pitch," Gonzaga pitcher Taylor Davis said.
Yake's patience at the plate is even more impressive. When you consider he’s only a redshirt sophomore.
“It’s unique to have that kind of feel for hitting and being real advanced in that area. That’s usually the last thing to come in," Machtolf said. "As he gets bigger, stronger and continues to have that pitch recognition, his best years are down the road.”