Onyshko looks to ride summer success back to Stetson
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
Ben Onyshko wants to continue to pitch with confidence in his senior season with the Stetson Hatters.
With the performances he turned in during his second season with the Ocean State Waves of the New England Collegiate Baseball League this summer, that shouldn’t be an issue.
“A personal goal of mine for my senior year is just to continue throwing with confidence and keep filling up the zone,” Onyshko said. “I do that, my role on the team and stats should take care of themselves.”
Onyshko pitched like an ace for the Waves, who lost in the NECBL final to the Valley Blue Sox. He posted a 4-0 record with a 2.25 ERA over 32 innings pitched. He struck out 45 against 10 walks in six starts. He then went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the postseason.
Those statistics were good enough for Onyshko to be selected to participate in the NECBL All-Star Game. Competing with the best the league had to offer was a thrill and could be intimidating for some but the 6-foot-1, 210 pound left hander kept reminding himself of the motto Canadian Head Coach and Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton used.
“The most important thing I took from it (the All-Star Game) is to listen to one of JNT coach Greg Hamilton’s mottos, stick to your strengths rather than worrying too much about your weaknesses,” he said. “Pitching in the All Star game was a blast. It was cool to take part in an all day event like that with players from all across the league. It was impressive to see the collection of talent there.”
Being in control and attacking hitters has been a key to his success during the 2017 summer season.
“I have also learned over the last few months that the most important thing I can do is get ahead in the count and pitch without being scared of contact,” he said. “My main goals heading into the summer were to pitch ahead in the count, pitch off of my fastball more and to be able to pitch deeper into games. So far all of the goals have been coming along well. The one that I am most proud of is that I have gone five or six innings in all seven of my starts, these are pretty long starts for summer ball where our pitch counts are pretty conservative.”
The Winnipeg native made the move to Vauxhall Academy when he was 15 years old. He credits Vauxhall head coach Les McTavish with a lot of his development as a player and a person. During his grade 11 year, he was selected to play for the Canadian Junior National Team. For Onyshko, his time with the JNT provided some of his fondest memories playing the game.
“In the spring of my grade 11 year I had the opportunity to join the junior national team,” he said. “The majority of my best baseball memories come from trips around the world with the JNT.”
The lefty will look to build on the 2-4 record and 4.83 ERA over 16 appearances, three of which were starts in 2017.
Although personal success and accolades are nice, Onyshko’s main goal is team related.
“We have such a deep pitching staff this year at Stetson that my team goal is to make it to Omaha,” he said. “I don’t think that this is out of the realm of possibilities.”
No matter what happens, the young pitcher, who also likes to fish, is enjoying the ability to play the game of baseball. With many of his summer goals achieved and a final season in DeLand, Fla. about to begin, Onyshko continues to aim high.
“After this season, my goal is to continue playing baseball professionally.”