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Former Wildcat Neiman turns pro

Jordyn Provence

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Troy Neiman throws a pitch.

File photo
Troy Neiman, a pitcher who chalked up the second-lowest ERA in school history, signed up with the Rockies organization in mid-July. Now he plays for their triple-A affiliate, the Tri-City Dust Devils.

Imagine receiving a single phone call that determines how your life will be spent for several years to come.

That’s what happened to Troy Neiman, a former Chico State baseball pitcher, when he signed up with the Colorado Rockies organization this summer.

“It all happened so fast,” Neiman said. “I got the call from the scout and the next day I was on a plane to Washington to sign with the organization.”

Neiman went undrafted in June but was still in contact with a Rockies scout. He told him once some room opened up on their roster, they wanted to sign him.

The 6-foot-6-inch right handed pitcher ended up signing with the Rockies organization in mid-July. Soon after, he joined their Class-A minor league affiliate, the Tri-City Dust Devils, in Pasco, Wash., where he played for a few summer months.

During that time, Neiman was awakened to the reality of the commitment that comes with professional baseball.

“This is a huge life transition for me,” Neiman said. “It is going to take lots of hard work and commitment to stay with the competition, but this has always been my dream and this is my dream come true. I get to do what I love and now get paid for it.”

Neiman was a great asset to Chico State baseball for two years. He ended his senior year in 2013, with a 1.53 ERA. He also ranks 10th in career winning percentage at .722 and strikeouts at 126.

Dave Taylor, the head coach of the Chico State men’s baseball team, helped illustrate exactly what Neiman brought to the team.

“He played with us for two years,” Taylor said. “He was a tremendous competitor, hard working, a great student and a good force to have on our team. He also made Chico State history and threw the best change-up I’ve seen in my 25 years of coaching here.”

Former teammate Drew Freeman also spoke highly of Neiman.

“He set an example for others on and off the field,” Freeman said. “He was a great model of what being a Chico State baseball player looks like.”

Although he’s destined to play professional ball, Neiman will never forget his career at Chico State.

“Signing with Chico was still the biggest day of my career,” he said. “I can’t thank Chico enough for the opportunities I had there. I played with a great group of guys that motivated me to play my best and that is where I really blossomed. If it weren’t for my team at Chico State pushing me to play better every day, I would have never made it this far.”

 

Jordyn Provence can be reached at [email protected] or @jordyprov on Twitter.

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Former Wildcat Neiman turns pro