Exclusive Interview With Matt Valin

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Today I was given the opportunity to sit down with Matt Valin from SUNY Cortland’s 2019 baseball team. Matt led the Red Dragons pitching staff with a 1.74 ERA, 8-0 record, 2 complete games, 80 strikeouts in 57 innings, meanwhile holding opponents to a .132 batting average. Cortland finished the season 31-11-1 and 18-0 in SUNYAC play. Matt currently ranks #32 in the country in ERA and ranks #9 on Cortland’s all time single season strikeouts leaderboard.

Me- “At what age did you start pitching?”

Matt- “I started pitching when I was about nine years old”

Me- “When did colleges start looking at you as a potential college pitcher?”

Matt- “One college started talking to me after my sophomore year but after my junior year many colleges start reaching out to me”

Me- “Were they all division 3 colleges?”

Matt- “There was a good mix, after my sophomore year Niagra talked to me. After my junior year some colleges that reached out to me were St. Johns Fisher, Oswego, Canisius, Siena, Long Island, LIU Brooklyn”

Me- “So you received offers from many different schools and many of them being four year schools, so why did you choose to go to Onondaga Community College?”

Matt- “I chose Occ because the coach there was my summer coach and I tore my ucl so I figured it would be a good place to go and rehab. I also had my surgery done in Syracuse so I would also be close to my doctors so if I had any complications they would be right there.”

Me- “So after Occ you were offered to come to SUNY Cortland, what made you choose Cortland over any other school?”

Matt- “I really liked the facilities here as well as the winning tradition. I love to win”

Me- “So is it safe to say you are a more focused on winning as a team rather than individual accolades?”

Matt- “Yeah, i do like to perform well but with that being said me performing well helps out my team. I believe they go hand in hand. Coach Brown is one of the best coaches in the country so you can’t argue with the results.”

Me- “For this year in particular you were a word to say is dominant, so my question is, have you always been this dominant?”

Matt- “For the most part yeah, in high school I threw a perfect game and a couple no hitters, 20 strikeouts in a game. At Occ I broke the single season strikeout record. Last year it was one rough outing in the SUNYAC tournament that inflated my stats and the same thing happened my freshman year. For the most part I have always kinda dominated.”

Me- “So you touched base on your strikeout performances throughout your career, this particular season in the SUNYAC tournament you tied the school record for strikeouts and broke the SUNYAC tournament strikeout record. what was that like for you?”

Matt- “It was nice, I’m not going to lie, I was definitely keeping track in the dugout and after 6 innings I knew I had 12 strikeouts. I wasn’t sure what the SUNYAC tournament record was but some of the guys were telling me it was 13. So I was thinking to myself I definitely got that. I had no idea what the single game record was for Cortland but I actually lost track after the 6th inning because I stopped counting them so I wasn’t sure how many I had until after the game”

Me- “was that your favorite moment this season?”

Matt- “It was actually going down to Texas before the season started. I have never been to Texas before so that was a neat experience. The coach down there got us some Texas barbecue and that was really good. Unfortunately it was a little cold down there at the time, the coaches actually said it was the coldest weekend of the year down there. But there was no snow so I couldn’t complain about that.

Me- “When you pitch do you always keep track of how many strikeouts you have in your head?”

Matt- “Sometimes, I just like to know how well I am doing. I am more worried about what each batter does to me. So if I strike a batter out I remember how I struck them out.

Me- “How to you prepare for each game?”

Matt- “The night before I always get Subway, game day I was do the same stretching, then I do my throwing, then I go to flat ground, wait a few minutes, then take the mound”

Me- “Is it the same thing everytime?”

Matt- “Yeah, I get a buffalo chicken on flatbread.”

Me- “For each offseason I am assuming you throw as well, like besides pitching for summer baseball teams do you do any work after that?”

Matt- “Yeah,  after July 1st I am done pitching so after that I lift and get in shape for the fall, I love lifting weights”

Me- “Do you have a go to pitch to get a strikeout?”

Matt- “Honestly it is probably my fastball, I have been throwing the slider a lot more recently but the go to is definitely still the fastball”

Me- “And that is hitting around what speed?”

Matt- “Most games I top out at around 93 but I usually sit around upper 80’s to low 90’s”

Me- “My last question is what is next for Matt Valin?”

Matt- “Hopefully I get to play over the summer, a few pro teams have contacted me so I hope that works out but that’s not my call to make, if that does work out I will be student teaching in the fall. If I had the opportunity to play professional baseball I would 100% take that chance and play, it’s every baseball player’s dream.”

 

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