The Orion

Top baseball hitters share personal insights

Junior Sonny Cortez (left) and sophomore Cameron Santos (right) look on before their at bats in a game against Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Junior Sonny Cortez (left) and sophomore Cameron Santos (right) look on before their at bats in a game against Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Anna Baytosh

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Junior outfielder Sonny Cortez and sophomore infielder Cameron Santos have been the table setters for the baseball team so far this season.

The Orion sat down with the first two hitters in the baseball team’s lineup to talk how America’s pastime has impacted them.

Cortez:

What is your favorite part about Chico State baseball?

The team. I’ve never been part of a team that’s so close. We have about 30 junior college transfer students. We come from all different backgrounds. I didn’t really know anyone before, but now I play with these people that I feel like I’ve known for a long time.

Why did you start playing baseball?

I grew up around it. My dad coached high school baseball. I’ve been throwing a baseball and swinging a bat ever since I can remember.

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Junior Sonny Cortez gets ready for the pitch in a game against Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

What would you be doing today if you didn’t play baseball?

Out of high school I wanted to pursue film. It was a big decision between pursuing a career in film or a career in baseball. I chose the baseball route but I am still interested in cinema.

 

How does baseball shape you as a person?

Growing up playing sports teaches you a lot of discipline and responsibility. It keeps my priorities straight. It helps me keep up with my schoolwork. I would rather people look up to me rather than down on me and set a good example.

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Junior Sonny Cortez looks on before he hits in a game against the Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

What does being the lead off hitter mean to you?

It’s definitely a privilege. After all I’ve had to go through to get to this point, it is an honor to be at the top of the lineup. I just try to do my job. As the lead off hitter, I know I’m supposed to get on base so I do whatever I can to get there for my team.

 

Cameron Santos:

What is your favorite thing about Chico baseball?

Probably the camaraderie and the field. I love the field.

 

Why did you start playing baseball?

It was the first sport I picked up as a kid. It was the one I liked the most out of the three I played so I stuck with it.

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Sophomore Cameron Santos tags out a runner in a game against Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

What is your first memory playing baseball?

My first home run in T-ball. I will never forget running around the bases that day.

 

Who is your athletic idol?

Derek Jeter because of the way he plays the game. He has always been an athletic role model for me. Throughout his career he has kept it pretty clean.

 

How does baseball shape you as a person?

It makes me stronger because I learn how to deal with adversity. It also brings out the best of my personality.

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Sophomore Cameron Santos focuses on the pitch in a game against the Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

What does being second in the batting lineup mean to you?

My team depends on me if Sonny, the lead off hitter, gets on base. It’s my job to move him over and put him in a position for my other teammates to bring him home.

 

What’s the biggest difference between high school and college athletics?

The game speeds up and there is more spread out talent throughout the field. You’re able to expect a lot more from the entire team, which means they also expect a lot out of you as an individual.

Anna Baytosh can be reached at [email protected] or @anna_baytosh on Twitter.

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Top baseball hitters share personal insights