MONTEREY PARK, CA — 2017-18 East Los Angeles College baseball freshman Paul Kosanovich, a June graduate, will transfer to the University of Virginia on scholarship to further his education and play baseball.
The University of Virginia baseball program, known as a national powerhouse, has 374 wins this decade, the second-most in the nation. “This is a great opportunity for him,” said ELAC head baseball coach James Hines. “Not only is he going to get the academic experience from one of the best public institutions in the country, if not the best, but he will also benefit from the athletic experience playing in the (Atlantic Coast Conference).”
“The University of Virginia baseball team is three years from winning a NCAA Division I National Championship,” said Hines. “And is a real true experience of what big time college is about.”
Kosanovich’s fastball tops at 93 mph. “I have a four-seam fastball that has a little bit of natural cut on it,” said Kosanovich. “This year I’ve developed a pretty good two-seam fastball.” He finished the season for ELAC with 68 strikeouts in 83 innings.
“Paul was named as a starting pitcher to the All-State Team (2018 California Community College Southern California), which also makes him All-American and named to the All-West Region Team,” said Hines. Kosanovich was also one of two recipients for the Pitcher of the Year Award of the 2018 South Coast Conference North Division Baseball Team.
At Temple City High School, Kosanovich played baseball and football and, after participating in a high school football showcase camp in Orange County run by Terry Donahue, received college football offers with scholarships. He chose New Mexico Highlands University. “I loved being on my own, and I was set on playing football,” said Kosanovich. “Because I got sick and lost muscle weight, I returned home after the first year deciding to make the switch to baseball and attend school in Southern California.”
Everything fell into place. An ELAC assistant coach recruited Kosanovich who improved drastically in a year. At ELAC, he began throwing a fastball at 86 mph then touched 88 in the Fall and improved to 93 in the Spring.
Baseball is one of those sports where everything can go your way one day and not the next. “I had problems in the beginning of the semester such as in games against Long Beach City and Chaffey colleges, but learned not to dwell in the past, stay calm and bring it forward,” said Kosanovich. “This switched my mental game up, so I could just worry about the next batter.” He also said that he zones out the crowd while on the mound, which will help him with the large crowds at Davenport Field with a capacity of more than 5,000.
“His development is tremendous for him and he’s still got a lot more upside,” said Hines. “He’s still going to keep learning and doing more things.”
Kosanovich credits the ELAC baseball program for helping student athletes with their current and future academic success. “The coaches were not hesitant to get my name out there which led to where I am now,” he said. “And my teammates were my mentors.”
“Self-motivation is important to me, that’s why I’ve been able to succeed and do so well,” said Kosanovich. “Teammates Zech Jarrard and Grant Victor helped me by talking about what I was thinking while pitching and helped me to improve my mental game and get back on track. I did better for the rest of the season.” Kosanovich began the regular season 2-3 and finished with four straight wins.
Kosanovich has yet to decide on a major yet but takes his studies seriously. Last week, the scholar athlete was awarded for Outstanding Academic Achievement by the Department of Athletics.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia