Evart pitching focusing on college career
EVART - Former Evart pitching standout Justin O'Dell has been focusing on his college career starting this fall at Cornerstone University and has been anxious to have a productive summer in getting ready for it.
O'Dell signed with Cornerstone earlier this year and ever since has been focusing on staying in baseball shape to get ready for the college level after the spring high school campaign was canceled because of COVID 19.
"I've been pitching from mounds at home and hitting into screens and staying in shape so if we have a season and get just a couple of games, we'll be ready," O'Dell said.
He was slated to play with teams out of Evart and Mount Pleasant.
The challenge for O'Dell and other top notch area players was finding a chance to play somewhere during the summer. Evart coach Josh Johnson has mentioned about having informal practices during the summer. Teams not affiliated with high schools have been able to get in some diamond time.
O'Dell was a key player as a junior for a 30-win Evart team which won conference and league titles. There were high expectations for the 2020 squad.
When it was confirmed there wouldn't be a spring season, "I was crushed," O'Dell said. "I thought we were going to have a really good season. My fellow seniors were crushed too that they couldn't play one last season with the kids they had grown up with."
O'Dell will report to Cornerstone later this summer to start fall baseball. He's focusing on pitching for Cornerstone.
"I've been working on my velocity and getting stronger," O'Dell said. "I just want to show up and compete and earn a spot."
O'Dell said when he's not pitching, he'll be playing some outfield and batting.
"I have to work on my pitch recognition and hit faster pitchers," he said adding that as an outfielder, "I have a strong arm and pretty good ball skills. Pretty much as soon as the ball is hit, I'll be right where it's going to land."