As the Division Avenue High School Blue Dragons baseball team rolls through the playoffs, senior Colin Diez is reflecting on the final few weeks of life as a high schooler.
The pitcher and center fielder attempts to stand out amongst his peers, and thus far, it’s worked to perfection. This all-conference star is ready for the challenge ahead as he gears up for Division II ball at Queens College. The Tribune spoke to Diez, discussing life as both a pitcher and center fielder, as well as a look into his future.
Q: What are your pitching strengths?
A: My strength is definitely my knuckle-drop, a pitch we throw here at Division. Also, it’s my mentality. I have the will to win. I aim to throw strikes every game. I let my defense field the plays behind me.
Q: What is the art of this knuckle-drop that you speak of?
A: It’s one of the pitches we teach here at Division. It looks like a fastball, but it drops down. It’s almost a knuckleball, but it’s better. A lot of hitters are confused by it. They go, “What is this?”
Q: How have you improved over the course of your four years at Division?
A: Every year, I’ve progressed to get better. As a senior I’m very in the groove and relaxed. I have no pressure on me. All I need to do is help my team win and do my job.
Q: What pre-game routines do you have?
A: Usually, before a game, I’ll go by myself all the way in the outfield by the sideline. I’ll do my running routine, stretching routine and a few other things before every game.
Q: What’s it like knowing you have to say goodbye to this team?
A: It’s very sad. The last four years have been the best of my life with this team. This year specifically, we were a great team. I love everyone on the team, both my coaches and teammates. I know we’re going out on a bang. We’re in the semifinals right now and we’re close to a county championship. It’s been our goal since we were little kids, and I think we can do it this year. We treat every game like it’s our last.
Q: What’s next for you after graduation?
A: I’m going to Queens College to play baseball in the fall. I’ll be dorming there and majoring in physical education. I’m looking forward to making new teammates and friends. I want to make an impact in my freshman year with the baseball team.