Over the past four seasons Ohio State senior Josh Newman has seen it all from pitching in pivotal Big Ten Conference games to pitching in an NCAA Super Regional. Newman’s quiet and calm demeanor on the mound combined with experience made his teammates’ decision on who would lead the team as one of its captains an easy selection. Now, about to conclude his senior season at Ohio State, the southpaw from Wheelersburg, Ohio, has established himself as one of Ohio State’s greatest pitchers of all-time ranking in the Top 5 in career strikeouts, career wins and innings pitched. Although Newman’s ability to pass along knowledge to his younger teammates will not show up in the record books, it is one of the many intangibles that has made him a favorite in the clubhouse.
As a senior what is one thing that you are really going to miss about Ohio State baseball?
“I think the one thing that I am really going to miss is being around the guys every day. I have become very close with a lot of these guys over the last four years and to come out to the ballpark and be with my friends every day is just something that I am really going to miss. I hope that once I leave school, I’ll be able to maintain good relationships with a lot of the guys on the team.”
Talk a little bit the relationship you have with guys on the team. Why have you guys become so close over the last four years?
“When you have been here for four years you really get to know everybody really well, and through these past couple of years, we have been in a lot of tough games together, so I think that is one reason why we are so close. Whenever you are around the same type of guys and when you live with some of your teammates you really develop a close relationship.”
This year you were selected as a captain with three of your teammates. How does it feel to be recognized by your team as a leader?
“Whenever your team selects you as one of its leaders I think it really speaks a lot of what they think of you. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being named a captain and it basically means your teammates trust your decisions as a player and as a leader.” What things do you try and teach to some of the younger guys on the team?
“There are a lot things that I try to teach some of the younger guys on the team, but basically I like to try and work with them on their mechanics and how they approach the game whenever they take the mound. During my time at Ohio State I have had the opportunity to play with some very good players and I just try to pass along what they taught me when I was coming up as a freshman and sophomore.”
How do you feel your senior season has gone so far?
“This season has not gone exactly how I wanted it to go, but even though I have not done as well as I wanted to do this season, I do not like dwell on the past. As a pitcher you can not focus on what went wrong one or two games ago, you just have to focus in on the present and go from there. I am a person that looks toward the future and I believe that my best baseball is still to come.”
If you have a bad start do you think it is tough to put that bad start in the back of your mind?
“As a starting pitcher you only get to show your stuff once a week and whenever you have a bad outing it is never easy to just put that performance in the back of your mind, but it is something you just have to do.”
Do you have any sort of pregame schedule that you go through before you take the mound?
“I just try to mentally prepare myself the best I can before I take the mound and just trust my pitches. I do not really have a big routine or superstitions that I go through before a start. For some reason I have never really got caught up into all of that stuff.”
Outside of baseball what do you like to do when you are not on the field?
“I like to play videogames every now and again, but for the most part I just like to like to relax because from time to time school and baseball can get pretty stressful.”
What is one of your greatest accomplishments to date?
“Getting drafted last year was one of my greatest accomplishments so far and even though I did not sign with any team it was still a great honor to be recognized by a major league team.”
Do you look to play in the major leagues after school?
“I think it is every college baseball player’s dream to get to the major leagues and one day I hope to do that.”
What is the biggest difference you see from the major league level to the collegiate level of play?
“I think at the major league level you have to have three dominant pitches to succeed and you have to be able to throw in certain spots whenever you want to. Sometimes in the collegiate ranks you can get by with just two pitches and not being able to hit your locations from time to time when you are facing some mediocre hitters. However, at the major league level you can expect to beat anybody if you just have two pitches and the inability to hit your locations.”
Are there any pitchers in the major leagues that you try to imitate when you take the mound?
“I have always enjoyed watching Roger Clemens pitch. I have always been amazed with his conduct on and off the mound and his work ethic. I think his work ethic just goes to show you what can happen if you work hard enough.”