By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
LAWTON, Okla. —
Former Enid High star Tobin Mateychick has a big smile on his face as he works out at his new baseball home at Cameron University in Lawton.
“I’m just refreshed,’’ said Mateychick, who left Wichita State this summer. “Since I’ve gotten here, my love of the game of baseball is coming back. That’s the main reason I got out of Wichita. I’m changing things up.’’
Mateychick, in his junior season, pitched only 21 innings. He had a 2-2 record with a 7.71 ERA. He said he didn’t pitch for the last six weeks.
“That doesn’t make it much fun,’’ he said.
Mateychick is one of seven Division I transfers at Division II Cameron, all of whom are hoping to revive their careers.
“The change of scenery is great,’’ he said. “I enjoyed being down here. I have met some good guys. We should be pretty good.’’
New Aggies pitching coach Brady Huston was hired from Seminole State College. Huston’s Seminole staff led Division I junior colleges in strikeouts (476) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.5). He’s a big key to Mateychick’s revival.
“We’re on the same page,’’ Mateychick said. “I want to get to the next level (professional). I think he can help me on my mechanics to get there.’’
Mateychick goes from a pitching coach (Brent Kemnitz) who was focused more on the mental side to “somebody who does it with mechanics.’’
“I think he can help me make a big jump,’’ Mateychick said. “We have had some meetings on the mechanical stuff. I’ve mostly been doing some drills on my own.”
Mateychick said his arm, which once required Tommy John surgery, is feeling good.
“I’ve been throwing all summer and I feel everything is progressing.’’
Cameron offers him a chance to be the ace pitcher. He points out scouts come to D-2 games, too.
“The ace of the staff is up for grabs,’’ Mateychick said. “It depends on what I do. It’s a possibility. You want to get in a rhythm. It was really tough last season when I wasn’t working on a regular basis.’’
Cameron, too, offers him something Wichita State couldn’t — a chance to hit.
As a senior at Enid High, he batted .386 with nine home runs and 48 RBI, in leading the Plainsmen to the Class 6A state tournament.
Mateychick hopes to play first base or the outfield when not pitching.
“I am open to wherever they want to play me,’’ he said. “I’ve never quit hitting the last four years. I continue to swing the bat, but I never got the opportunity to.
“It feels good to be able to contribute every game. I think I can help on both sides of the field on offense and defense.’’
But pitching still is where his future lies.
“That’s probably my best chance to make the pros,’’ he said. “That’s where the majority of my focus will be, but I really enjoy getting to hit again.’’
Baseball is baseball to him. The crowds may not be as big as Wichita State, but that doesn’t matter to him.
“We play the exact same kind of baseball as anyone else,’’ Mateychick said. “The facilities may not be as good as Wichita’s, but they are still good. They (Cameron) put a lot of money in baseball. I’m excited. The campus is beautiful. I can’t really see any difference.’’