By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Last summer’s experience with the Hayesville Hammers has prepared Cascade Senior Jacob Winstead for what is to come this Summer with the Cascade Collegiate League and into the future with Southwestern Oregon Community College entering next year as a Pitcher.
Playing with the Hammers, an Independent Baseball team, gave Winstead who was entering his Senior Year an opportunity to go up against some Division-I talent. The result wasn’t what he wanted, but nonetheless taught him what he needed to work on moving forward.
“Last year my performances definitely weren’t what I wanted them to be,” starts Winstead. “So this summer since I already have a year of experience with that level of competition I want to excel and dominate every chance I get to on the mound.
“Last summer was a good learning experience for me to play against some good D-1 competition to show me exactly what I needed to do and how hard I need to work if I want to get to that level in a few years. This time off sucks and it’s obviously not ideal but I’ve been consistently working out and throwing with my dad every day so once summer-ball hits I’ll be a step above everybody else.”
Winstead committed to SWOCC in October, the Lakers started the season 8-1 before ending it on a three-game skid when their season came to a halt 12 games into the Spring Season this year. The opportunity to get to this point is something that Winstead is grateful for.
“I’m beyond excited, it’s an awesome feeling to be able to know that the coaches there believe in you and want to help you improve to the best of your abilities,” said Winstead.
The goal for Winstead in college is to be a Starting Pitcher for Southwestern Oregon, going six-to-seven innings per outing. But he knows that it depends on his pitch count each time he steps on the bump.
In the meantime, to get to that point, Winstead hopes to use this summer in the CCL to refine all three of his pitches with his location to prepare to go up against the talent in the NWAC South Region starting next season.
“I’m always looking for ways to improve, my main goals right now is to really fine tune all three of my pitches and be able to spot them wherever I want,” said Winstead. “The CCL will definitely help me get ready for next season by having me go up against other JUCO talent I’ll see in the coming year and if I pitch well enough perhaps be able to go up against some WCL teams as well.”