PITTSVILLE – Jacob Schulz is like a lot of Pittsville baseball players. He came up through the youth ranks and does what he can to help his team.
This season he’s thrown a no-hitter and a year ago he switched to the outfield after playing various infield positions for years.
“In a small school, you need to have kids who are willing to play any position any night of the season,” Pittsville coach Bill Urban said. “We had him switch to the outfield as a junior and he’s done a great job there when he isn’t pitching. Last weekend we were shorthanded, so he played first base for us.”
When he’s on the hill, one of the most notable things is that he doesn’t walk many batters.
“His forte is throwing strikes,” Urban said. “Velocity means a lot, but you have to throw strikes. He’s been eating up a lot of innings for us because he’s our most consistent pitcher.”
You threw your first career no-hitter last week against Northland Lutheran. How did you keep focused and not get caught up in it? I had an idea that I was getting close, so I tried to tell myself I didn’t have it so I wouldn’t psych myself out. It didn’t seem like a no-hitter because they scored a run, but it’s still pretty unbelievable.
What will you always remember about last year’s WIAA state tournament? The rain. We had a four-hour delay, so we relaxed a little and went to one of the local schools for batting practice. I’ll always remember the sectional semifinal game, too. We played Columbus Catholic and it went 11 innings. It was a great game.
You’ve shown you can pitch and you played in the infield for most of the time when you aren’t pitching. What were some of the challenges of switching to the outfield as a junior? I had to get the hang of how a fly ball travels in the outfield, which is different than a pop up in the infield. I also had to get used to taking my first step backwards. In the infield we creep in and change the ball. It took a little time to get used to, but the outfield has grown on me.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people: During the summer and fall, I show and sell lambs. I’ve been doing it since I was 9. It’s part of 4-H and Future Farmers of America. My parents used to show cattle, but they didn’t want to start us with big animals so they started us with lambs. During the summer and fall, I usually spend two hours a day talking care of them.
What is the most you’ve sold a lamb for? At the State Fair in Milwaukee a few years ago, I won champion in breed and was fifth overall in the competition. I sold that lamb for $3,000. I got to spend a little and the rest was saved for college.
Speaking of college, do you know where you are going? I’m going to UW-Wood County to get my general requirements done. After that I’m thinking of transferring to either UW-Stevens Point or UW-Platteville. If I go to Point, I’ll study to be a teacher and if I go to Platteville, I’ll do something with agriculture.
What are a few things on your bucket list? Skydiving sounds scary fun and I’d like to hunt out west, maybe Montana.
What did you learn playing youth baseball that still stands today at the varsity level? The fundamental skills. The game gets more advanced as you progress to higher levels of competition, but the basics stay the same.
Mark Massoglia can be reached at 715-423-7200, ext. 6736. Follow him on Twitter @markmazzy.
Sports: Basketball, baseball
Family: Dad, Jim. mom, Lisa; sister, Martina
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite athlete: LeBron James
Favorite team: Pittsville
Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory”
Android or iPhone: Android
Breakfast, lunch or dinner: Dinner
Pulp or no pulp in orange juice: No pulp
Spring, summer, fall or winter: Summer