Brolsma ready to play for Texas Tech
BY MIKE HOUSER
Appeal Sports Writer
While Lubbock, Texas, may not possess the beauty of Lake Tahoe, for 2003 Carson High School graduate Owen Brolsma, the area certainly has some other attractive things to offer.
"You can't beat this weather down here," Brolsma said Monday from Lubbock via cell phone. "It got up in the 70s today."
Although Brolsma said it's pretty dry and treeless where he's at, weather and aesthetics aside, what the 23-year-old is really interested in is the opportunity he's getting this season as a senior at Texas Tech, where he'll be pitching in relief for the Red Raiders in his final year of college eligibility.
Brolsma, who graduated with a degree in business management in December at the University of Nevada, never really found his comfort zone with the Wolf Pack, playing in 2004 and 2006 and undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2005.
Brolsma was 2-0 with a 4.00 earned run average in '04, pitching 18 innings in relief, and 1-0 with a 9.19 ERA over 15.2 innings in '06.
"I really just needed a fresh start," Brolsma said of his move to Texas Tech. "I had a lot of bad luck (at Nevada). I didn't have a lot of success. I wasn't responding to the coaching staff very well. It wasn't a good fit."
As of now, Brolsma couldn't be happier.
"I'm doing great. I'm throwing as hard as I have right now," said Brolsma, who said he hit 92 mph on the radar gun during the team's first weekend scrimmage. "My arm's a whole lot better than it was a couple of years ago. I like this weather."
Although he is still a catcher at heart and is at home with a bat in his hands, Brolsma said he wouldn't mind pitching for a year in the Big 12 Conference before coming back to Northern Nevada, where he plans to once again set up shop behind the plate for the Reno Astros while he pursues a shot at playing professional baseball.
"Our schedule is looking pretty tough, but we're up for the challenge," Brolsma said.
Last year the Red Raiders finished in 10th and last place in the Big 12, going 8-18 in league and 28-27 overall. Still, with perennial powerhouse Texas and other top teams like Missouri and Kansas in the same conference, Brolsma said it's going to be a new and invigorating experience for him.
"I'm going to play teams I've never played before," he said. "I'll get to play in Minute Maid Park [home of the Houston Astros] and we'll go against top 25 teams. I'm looking forward to it."
The Red Raiders open their season Feb. 22 against Northern Illinois.