April 22, 2013
Written by Chelsea White
University of Minnesota Athletic Communications Student Intern
Red-shirt junior Kyle O'Shea has seen action in seven games and started in five this season. The Blaine, Minn., native earned his first collegiate win against Western Michigan earlier this year. An integral member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, O'Shea is a constant community service volunteer. The second O'Shea to play for the Gophers, Kyle is an academic All-Big Ten selection and a letterwinner. Learn more on O'Shea in this short question/answer session.
Q: What was your recruitment process like coming to play baseball at the University of Minnesota?
A: My brother who is two years older than me, Nick, was a member of the Gopher baseball team so I got a feel for the program through his experiences. Also I went to some of the baseball camps in the winters and got to know the coaches from that aspect. So when I got a recruiting opportunity, I was definitely excited about getting the prospect of playing for my favorite team growing up. It was exciting. I got to talk to TO (Todd Oakes) a lot and also 14 (John Anderson) in the process. Minnesota was obviously my number one choice even though other schools had also been looking at me. There was a time when I was looking at playing at Mankato, North Dakota, and other schools in the area, but the University of Minnesota always stuck out for me when making my final decision.
Q: You mentioned your brother Nick playing here for Minnesota. How influential was he in your life with your baseball career?
A: Growing up we always did baseball things together and I always looked up to him. He was always a role model for me because of his work ethic and the time and effort he put into being able to get where he was and the achievements he had. I got an opportunity to play with him my sophomore year when he was a senior in high school and so that was very cool for me to have a taste of that. Then playing here, I got a solid two years to play with him so it was such a great experience to be able to play with your brother at such a high level. I think that Division I baseball is hard to reach in general, but getting there with your brother as well is such an incredible thing, so it was a very cool experience for me.
Q: How often do you get to watch him play in the minors?
A: He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds so he is in Dayton, Ohio right now. I got a chance to see him play once his first year and then once this past summer. I get a chance every once in a while, but it is kind of tough, but it is always fun to watch him play in the pros.
Q: You established your first career-win as a pitcher this season, what was it like to get one under your belt?
A; When I got the opportunity to have a start here on the weekend it was pretty exciting. It was something that I had not experienced before. I just felt that I had prepared myself for that challenge, and obviously it was successful on the start. It was exciting to get that win and have it also count for the team.
Q: What has been your favorite team to compete against while playing here, why?
A: I would probably say either Michigan or Ohio State. I feel like no matter how nice the guys are on the team there has always been that rivalry there. I think that that those two teams would have to be my two favorite teams to play against for sure.
Q: Your face is featured on the side of the M.A.G.I.C. school bus because of your community service efforts. Why is that so important as an athlete?
A: The M.A.G.I.C. school bus is a bus that Anissa Lightner (Assistant Director of Student Athlete Affairs) uses to transport athletes to events and she had picked me to have my picture on the side of it. M.A.G.I.C. stands for Maroon and Gold Impacting the Community. We do Hope Day activities and then the Joe Mauer Highland Friendship club. There are also a lot of elementary school events throughout the year. I think that it is important to get involved in the community just because those kids look up to you. Some of the kids that we interact with they do not have great role models in their life, and even if they do, it is just nice to build relationships with them and find out who they are and show them who we are. Kind of develop friendships and relationships with the community.
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After a successful first season with the Gophers, Luke Pettersen enters his sophomore season on campus.