by Sasha Siclait
It wouldn’t be a rare sight to see junior outfielder Tyler Pfeffer lacing base hits into the outfield for the Pirates, or down at the Warehouse Athletic Facility in Spokane working on his game. Pfeffer recently made Whitworth history after being named a First Team All-American last season by d3baseball.com and a Second Team All-American by the American Baseball Coach’s Association. Pfeffer was named a preseason All-American by d3baseball.com this year.
Being named Whitworth’s first All-American baseball player since Dick Washburn in 1965 is a result of a life spent playing baseball.
Pfeffer first picked up a baseball around the age of 4 and has loved the game ever since.
“I would play catch with my mom and grandpa out in my yard, and that’s just kind of what got me going,” Pfeffer said. “My mom and I used to live in an apartment complex next to a baseball field and we would go out and hit everyday regardless of the weather.”
Pfeffer’s mother was a huge influence in his life, always taking the time to play baseball with him in his younger years.
Since starting to play baseball at a young age, Pfeffer has played a variety of positions on the field, from catcher to shortstop and now in the outfield for Whitworth.
During high school, Pfeffer received Second Team All-Greater Spokane League his junior year and First Team All-Greater Spokane League, along with Second Team All-State his senior year.
Whitworth was Pfeffer’s only choice for college, and was an easy decision, because he admired the academic excellence, is able to stay close to home, and he was pursued by Whitworth’s head baseball coach, Dan Ramsay.
Pfeffer was originally spotted by Ramsay during his junior year playing for Shadle Park High School in Spokane. His presence and comfort at the plate while hitting caused Ramsay to notice Pfeffer’s potential.
“It’s awesome because all of my family and friends can still watch me play without the hassle of traveling, which is a huge reason why I decided to stay here,” Pfeffer said.
Pfeffer plays left field for the Pirates and is an exceptional hitter, say both Ramsay and teammate junior infielder Gerhard Muelheims.
“He can flat out hit,” Ramsay said. “He has an uncanny ability to hit and more so than a lot of kids. He is really good at making adjustments in game while hitting, and he can make adjustments mid-at bat, which a lot of guys don’t have the ability to do.”
It is clear that Pfeffer has shown dedication to the game from the beginning, and he continues to demonstrate this through his accomplishments in baseball today, and through his success as a player receiving multiple awards. In the 2012 season, Pfeffer led Whitworth in multiple statistical categories including a .379 batting average, 61 RBIs, 51 runs and 12 home runs.
“Tyler spends multiple hours in the Warehouse [Athletic Facility] making himself better to improve the team,” Ramsay said.
Pfeffer tries to go hit in the Warehouse every day in the winter, but tends to stay around campus once the baseball season starts to roll around.
Not only does Pfeffer display an exceptional physical ability to play the game of baseball, but Pfeffer is a strong mental player as well.
“His mental game is really good. He has the ability to bounce back, and if he has a game where he fails a little bit, he is one of the few guys that is to bounce back the next game and you can’t even tell he played poorly or had a failure in the previous game,” Ramsay said.
Pfeffer noted the team camaraderie he is a part of playing for the Bucs.
“We’re all brothers and always have each others’ back, and if someone on the team is in trouble someone will always be there to help them,” Pfeffer said. “We’re a very tight-knit group.”
Pfeffer said going to the World Series is his favorite memory of baseball so far during his Whitworth baseball career.
“Going to the World Series was unreal,” Pfeffer said.
After college, Pfeffer plans to go into law enforcement and is currently a health science major. As for baseball, Pfeffer has big plans for himself and hopes to play professional baseball. He continues to work out every day and does whatever he can to get scouts looking his way.
“Ideally I would like to play pro baseball, but if that doesn’t work out for me then I plan to go into law enforcement,” Pfeffer said.
However, for the time being, Pfeffer will dedicate his time to improving his game and playing in a Pirate uniform.
“He is very dedicated to his hitting and puts in a lot of time at the cages,” Muelheims said. “He’s a hard worker.”
Contact Sasha Siclait at firstname.lastname@example.org