Challenges contribute to the growth of any athlete, and it is no different for junior baseball player Nick Kakolowski.
As a pitcher for the baseball team this year, Kakolowski has witnessed both improvement and disappointment throughout the season. Beginning with a trip to Florida during spring break, the team had a rough start, but their initial struggles led to improvement.
Kakolowski has personally improved while leading as an upperclassman on the team.
“My biggest improvement has been my consistency,” he said.
In his first year, Kakolowski struggled mentally, which led to a lot of simple mistakes. He walked a lot of batters and had a high ERA.
Kakolowski’s growing consistency has helped him to pitch through jams and log needed innings for the team this season.
Kakolowski knows his position of leadership on the team, both on and off the bench. As a pitcher, he holds an important role in keeping the team together, but he finds it difficult to lead when he is not in an active role on the field.
“Whenever I am not pitching, I end up spending the game on the bench,” he said.
As far as goals, Kakolowski’s personal hope was to have a record above .500 as a pitcher. If given another start before the season’s end, he will have a chance to achieve his goal.
While Kakolowski said he is not satisfied with the season’s outcome, he recognized that he did improve as a player, and he hopes to continue to progress into the next year.
A major goal for the team was to make the playoffs. However, with too many losses, the team fell short of their playoff hopes. Still, in spite of their record, they finished the season as a better team than when they began.
Kakolowski will be running cross-country in the fall and lifting weights in preparation for next season, hoping to become a better overall player.