By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
It wasn’t the mild climate, the bustling campus life, or the baseball team for that matter.
For Clovis High grad Jason Seefeld, leaving the University of Arizona was all about returning to his roots.
After a productive freshman year at the Pac-10 school in which he batted above .300 in parttime duty as a designated hitter, Seefeld decided to transfer to Texas Tech to be closer to friends and family in Clovis.
“I enjoyed it out there and it was a great place to play,” Seefeld said. “But I wanted to be in this area. The opportunity for my family to see me play was important to me.”
Texas Tech coach Larry Hays said the Red Raiders recruited Seefeld out of high school and are happy he changed his mind.
“He gave us a call and, of course, we were interested,” Hays said. “We’d seen him play shortstop in high school and in summer leagues and liked what we saw.”
Hays said Seefeld has developed into a versatile player who can play any infield position, and even pitch.
“He’s just more mature,” Hays said. “Since you’re only allowed 27 players on the roster, it’s nice to have guys like Jason who can do a little bit of everything for you.”
The Red Raiders opened their season next week.
Last spring, in his first year at Tech, Seefeld batted .205 and knocked in 11 runs to help the Red Raiders post a 31-23 record. He also produced a .928 fielding percentage, playing mostly infield.
He was a natural at baseball, playing five years at Clovis from eighth grade until graduation. But he couldn’t rely on pure talent alone at the next level, so he’s had to put some extra work in.
“The speed of the game increases, and the size of the athletes does too,” Seefeld said. “But slowly, I started to learn.”
Seefeld is a business finance major with hopes of starting a small business after graduation.
That desire came from his father, an accountant, and a ceaseless interest in the ebbs and flows of stock exchanges.
And while Seefeld admits the post-graduate transition into the “real world” is daunting, he’s just happy to be near home.
“It was easy for me,” Seefeld said of leaving for Arizona. “The biggest thing was going out there. Coming back was like coming home for me.”
College update is a weekly feature compiled by CNJ Sports Writer Greg Price. He can be reached at 763-6991 or by e-mail at: