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College Podcast With MSU's Jake Boss, Minnesota's Patrick Fredrickson

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Jake Boss (Photo by Tony Farlow)

This week on the Baseball America college podcast, Michigan State coach Jake Boss and Minnesota righthander Patrick Fredrickson join Teddy Cahill for a Big Ten Conference themed episode.

Michigan State has had a busy fall, including a weekend trip to Sandusky, Ohio, for a game against Penn State and another with the Force All Stars, a team of local special needs kids. The Spartans also played their annual game with their local Miracle League group, which gives children with disabilities a chance to play baseball.

Boss said those opportunities mean a lot to the Spartans.

“I don’t know who gets more out of that game – those kids or our players,” Boss said. “It’s just so fun to watch our guys develop relationships not only with the kids but with the families of these kids and these relationships are certainly ones that will last beyond their four or five years at Michigan State. It’s just really neat to watch our guys come out of their shells a little bit and understand their role in the community. The smiles on those kids faces when they get a chance to throw and hit and run the bases is absolutely priceless and worth more than anything we can ever give those guys.”

In the past, those experience have even led some players to change their career path.

“We’ve had guys (in the past_ that have changed their majors as a result of the Miracle League game we did,” Boss said. “They’ve changed their major from whatever it was to special education or adapted PE or to get into education or working with kids as a result of their experience and the opportunity they saw to build into somebody else. I think that’s what it’s all about. Winning games is awesome, and everyone loves to do that but I think it goes far, far beyond any kind of win or loss here at Michigan State.”

Fredrickson last year went 9-0, 1.86 for Minnesota and was named a Freshman All-American. He helped the Gophers win the Big Ten title and advance to super regionals for the first time in program history.

Fredrickson said he was able to make the transition to college a smooth one by keeping things simple.

“What I tried to tell myself is the game hasn’t changed at all, it’s still the same game,” Fredrickson said. “It’s better competition but just go out there and have a lot of confidence. Just try and compete and win games for your team. I wasn’t really expecting to have the year or the numbers I did last year but it just happened, I guess. As a team we’re looking forward to picking up right where we left off.”

After throwing 97 innings in the spring, Fredrickson took the summer off to rest and get stronger going into his sophomore year.

“Over the summer I didn’t play anywhere,” Fredrickson said. “My coaches and I decided I would benefit more from resting over the summer. I had a strength program that was sent to me and the other pitchers. I completed that. It was really fun. I had some interesting exercises that I feel like now that I’m throwing again helped fine tune some of my mechanics. Other than working out and throwing the last month of summer I just sort of took some time and relaxed and worked a little bit. It went really fast.”

The Baseball America college podcast can be found on iTunes. The podcast is released weekly and features interviews with players and coaches from around the country.

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