Recovered from an injury during his freshman year, Sam Riedinger is confident of a better outcome this baseball season.
The Weimar High School graduate begins his second season on the McPherson College (Kan.) junior varsity team. The 6-foot-3 sophomore said he was on the injury recovery list last year as he worked to return from an inflamed forearm flexor.
He said he wasn’t accustomed to throwing in the cold. After the fall break, he said, “I threw in the cold and kind of overextended myself.”
He didn’t require a medical procedure but went to physical therapy regularly and did a lot of stretching and exercises to strengthen the arm.
The past summer Riedinger said he participated in clinics at the Hunter Pence Baseball Academy in Houston, where he worked with instructors and practiced, including throwing bullpen sessions of 50 to 60 pitches.
“I worked on my changeup and my tempo,” he said, adding that he throws the two- and four-seam fastball, curveball and knuckleball.
A grip change on the changeup was “to get a more natural feel for the way it’s thrown and better consistency,” he said. “I’ve got a lot better movement, getting right to left.”
McPherson head JV coach Andrew Pratt said it is possible for players who are on the JV roster to move to varsity once the season begins, based on performance.
The players had a few intersquad games during the fall. “He looked good. He has good command of his pitches,” Pratt said of Riedinger. “He’s able to deceive hitters. He’s a good young pitcher.”
Riedinger continues to treat his arm to make sure he remains healthy. “There’s been no residual pain,” he said. “I’d say it’s back to 100 percent.”
The coach said he hasn’t decided yet which pitchers will start or relieve and said the team is scheduled to play 20 games.
Also from the Wildcats, Danny Amaro is no longer on the Texas Lutheran University roster. He was a freshman offensive lineman on the 2019 squad.
Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org.