Transfer Cal Stevenson ready to make impact for Arizona
While there may be some new faces for the Wildcats, expectations are still sky-high after making it all the way to the College World Series last season.
Arizona brought in a talented recruiting class that looks to contribute right away on the baseball diamond. One of which is a player Arizona head coach Jay Johnson had already coached at a prior destination.
Junior outfielder Cal Stevenson transferred from Nevada after only one season and gets the opportunity to suit up for Johnson again.
When Johnson left the Nevada Wolfpack for Arizona, he might have thought he had seen the last of his Wolfpack players. Stevenson, however, decided to follow suit and left from Nevada to Arizona after the 2015 season.
“My season at Nevada was awesome, not just as an athlete, but as a student and I loved playing for coach Johnson,” Stevenson said. “Coach Johnson made it easier for me and allowed me to play the way I wanted to play, and I think that is why I wanted to follow him here, he made the game fun for me and it got harder but also more competitive.”
The left fielder from Fremont transferred to Arizona after winning Mountain West Co-Freshmen of the Year in 2015. That year, he batted .356 with 54 runs, 25 runs batted in and 13 doubles.
Despite the numbers he put up at Nevada, Stevenson is still focusing on improving his offensive game for the Arizona Wildcats.
“They have worked a lot with me on hitting, I am here all the time working and I am trying to improve,” Stevenson said.
After transferring from Nevada in 2015, Stevenson spent last season at Chabot College, Stevenson batted .287 with 26 RBIs and 57 runs in 42 games. He also earned a spot on the First-Team for the California Community College Athletics Association.
While at Chabot, Stevenson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 36th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft.
While changing schools can be difficult for some, Stevenson has made a flawless transition to Arizona and fits right in with his teammates.
“It’s been pretty easy, you have a lot of guys that accept you pretty quick and allow you to be a part of the team,” Stevenson said. “The returning players made everyone new fit right in when they got here, especially the freshmen. [Johnson] is a great coach, he loves to compete and he has that mindset that nobody wants to win more than him. I think the players around him buy into him and that helped him get to where he was last year. It is a new year and we need to be together if we want to get to where we were last year.”
Arizona baseball starts the season this Friday in hopes to make another run to the College World Series as the Wildcats take on Eastern Kentucky at Hi-Corbet Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
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