We have another Alumni Profile today and this one features John Bednarek, a member of the 2013 baseball state title team. Bednarek is studying Computer Science and playing baseball at St. Thomas Aquinas. Here is our conversation.
What factors helped you choose St. Thomas? St. Thomas was a good fit for me academically and also provides a competitive baseball program that I wanted to be a part of.
Most memorable moment from CHS athletic career? Outside of state title, do you have another favorite moment? The state title has to be the most memorable, but the South Jersey championship game was another favorite being it was probably one of the best performances I personally had.
What made you want to be a pitcher? I never was much of a hitter, but I enjoy the aspects of pitching of creating sequences and trying to find a hitters weakness to get them out.
Could you have dreamed of a better way to end the state title run than with you recording a strikeout for the final out? Ending the championship game with a strikeout was pretty surreal. I’m not sure if there could’ve been a better way.
Favorite class so far in college? My favorite class so far at school was Java programming. Just due to the challenging nature and the problem solving methods I needed to use.
Favorite class at CHS? It’s hard to decide between American Law and Human Behavior. These classes were always interesting everyday.
Who has been your toughest opponent at St. Thomas? Our toughest opponent has been Dowling College. They’re one of our biggest rivals and we always end up playing big games against each other.
Was it difficult to adjust to the college game? The game itself was very difficult to adjust due to the pace of play and how the little things make such a bigger impact on the outcome.
What part of your game has improved the most from high school to college? The past two years my control has increased a lot and my ability to locate multiple pitches for strikes has really improved since I last pitched in high school.
What was the best defensive play you saw during the Pirates title run in 2013? The best defensive play had to have been Cole Pewor’s unassisted double play he turned in the state semi-finals.
What is one piece of advice you would give the current seniors who want to continue their baseball careers in college? Don’t overthink the game. When you start to press to do better you will start to struggle even more.
St. Thomas went 30-19-1 this season, including an ECC title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Explain how much fun you had this season on the mound for such a successful program. This year was a really great run, we fell short of winning the region like last year but winning the conference was a great achievement.
You have been a part of winning programs at the high school and college levels. Are there any differences in how the two programs have achieved their success? In high school we only really worked for 3 months a year while at school everything I do is scheduled around a baseball activity or function. There is an increased focus on success year round.
Image courtesy of John Bednarek