After missing the 2020 baseball season, the next time he will be able to get on the mound will be for Susquehanna University, in Central Pennsylvania.
“I originally found out about Susquehanna through my travel team. I am expecting to just be pitching there," Konopka said.
According to CBA's Head Coach, Casey O'Connor, Konopka was set to be the ace of the Brothers' pitching staff this season. "He is a big, tall lengthy righty. He throws the ball really well and it gets on you quick. He'd have been an anchor in in our rotation," O'Connor said.
Going into his fresh...an year, Konopka plans on majoring in economics. “My parents are both business owners, so that sort of thing has always interested me," he said.
“I really liked the people on campus. Everyone was super nice and it was genuine. At other colleges, it felt like they were just trying to impress you, but I stayed in contact with someone there for months after I visited, even after I didn’t think I was going there, but she still stayed in contact with me. It was nice to have that sort of connection.”
For the big right-hander, college baseball was a priority in finding the right fit for the next four years.
“The coaches were the reason I chose Susquehanna. They knew what they were talking about and they wanted me, which was important. They went to specific games and I had a really good feel about the college," he said.
“The coach has texted me and the incoming class numerous times, checking in and making sure we’re alright and still staying active.”
“I’m just excited to play baseball again. I miss watching it. I miss playing it. I miss all my teammates. I just can’t wait for this to be over so that everything can go back to normal.”
During his junior year, he began the season as the closer for the Brothers. After being built up to throw deeper into games, he became a starting pitcher, about mid-way though the 2019 campaign.
The senior spoke about his expectations coming into the 2020 season, prior to schools being shut down.
“I thought that we were going to have one of the best pitching staffs in the section. I thought we were going to be very competitive for the section title. I was looking forward to the New Jersey trip, where we go down to CBA New Jersey and play them. We did that last year and it was one of my favorite moments as a whole.”
“We were in school and everyone was talking about how school was going to get cancelled. Nobody was really expecting it to be like this. It’s just been surreal. It sucks, it really sucks.”
In a few months, he will be getting ready to make the trip out to Selinsgrove, PA, which is just 35 miles south of the Youth Baseball Capital of the World, Williamsport, PA.
While he will be looking forward to building new baseball memories, with new teammates, he'll always have one sport to look back on from his senior year.
“It was the first year CBA had volleyball. It was fun, but it wasn’t serious for me. Baseball is the only serious sport I play," Konopka said. “We were terrible. We didn’t win a single game, but it was so much fun. We were playing against kids that had been playing for five, six, seven years. All they do is play volleyball and this was our first time ever playing it.”
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