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Senior transfer thrives as new RBI man

Senior+first+basemen+Ben+Gamba+eyes+the+pitcher+in+a+game+against+Academy+of+Art.+Photo+credit%3A+Lindsay+Pincus
Senior first basemen Ben Gamba eyes the pitcher in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Senior first basemen Ben Gamba eyes the pitcher in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Senior first basemen Ben Gamba eyes the pitcher in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Anna Baytosh

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From a Hawk to a Wildcat, Holy Names University senior transfer Ben Gamba has made an instant impact for the Chico State baseball team.

Consistent defensive play and a batting average of .351 proves Gamba deserves a spot in the everyday lineup.

Leading the team in RBIs with 16 and tied for the lead in HRs, coupled with an excellent on-base percentage of .494, he has thrived in the cleanup spot of the batting order.

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Senior first basemen Ben Gamba prepares for the ball in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

“This program is unbelievable. It is so much more professional from the team I was on before I was here,” Gamba said. “Truly a blessing to be finishing my baseball career here.”

Gamba says he appreciates the overall team chemistry and each friendship he has made.

“Even though I have only been here since January, these guys have all welcomed me as family and I am privileged to call them my brothers,” Gamba said.

When asked why he loved baseball, Gamba said he loved the feeling of hitting a baseball as far as he can while having someone else chase it down.

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Senior first basemen Ben Gamba makes contact with the ball in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

Gamba’s first memory playing baseball was learning how to hit tennis balls in his front yard when he was 4 years old.

“I remember playing tee-ball for my first year of organized baseball, and I would get so upset because I could not hit the ball off the tee at all,” Gamba said.

Gamba has taken full advantage of all that baseball has offered him since then. This past summer he played for the Kelowna Falcons amateur baseball team in Canada. Gamba says he regards this as both a privilege and an opportunity for vast improvement when playing with other talented athletes.

“I am so glad that I stuck with it and kept grinding or else I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Gamba said.

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Senior first basemen Ben Gamba waits for the ball in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

Gamba attributes a big part of his success to his father, a personal mentor and an athletic role model throughout his entire career.

“My idol would have to be my father. He works so hard day-in and day-out to give me everything I need to be successful. He taught me everything I know about baseball and especially hitting,” Gamba said. “Not to mention him or my mom don’t miss a game of mine. I am truly blessed to have such great parents who support me no matter what.”

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Senior first basemen Ben Gamba holds a runner on in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

Baseball is not the only pastime Gamba enjoys sharing with his father. From a young age his favorite hobby, aside from baseball, has always been fishing.

“If I wasn’t playing baseball, I would have my own fishing boat and be hitting the water with my dad fishing for striped bass, halibut or sturgeon” Gamba said. “Nothing beats it.”

Whether he is found in the middle of a lake fishing with his dad or in Nettleton Stadium guarding first base, Gamba is happy to be there.

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

 

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Senior transfer thrives as new RBI man