Baseball: Jed Lowrie
Feb. 28, 2003
It hit Jed Lowrie as he was taking ground balls between innings prior to the bottom of the ninth of the nightcap in Stanford's doubleheader sweep at defending national champ Texas last Saturday.
'I'm looking around the infield and there's five freshmen on the field in a big-time game with a chance to sweep the defending national champs,' reflects Lowrie. 'But it wasn't like 'we have freshman out here and we're in trouble'. It was like 'we have freshman and we have a lot to prove'.'
Lowrie is one of those freshmen who has proved a lot in the first 15 games of his Stanford career. He has started the team's last eight games and is hitting .351 with five doubles, four RBI and a pair of stolen bases. He had a seven-game hit streak (February 7-22) that was capped by the first four-hit game of his career in the opening game of the doubleheader sweep over Texas.
'It's still kind of blur to me,' admits Lowrie on his rise from a little known Oregon prep player to a starter on one of the top programs in college baseball history in less than a year. 'I've just worked my hardest, and obviously it's been paying off. I'm just going to go with it and keep doing what I've been doing.'
Lowrie credits much of his success to a routine he began as a very young player.
'It rains a lot in Oregon and is tough to play baseball all year around,' explains Lowrie. 'When I was about eight or nine years old, my father took me to batting cages in Woodburn (Oregon). We talked to the owner (Randy Brack), and I ended up doing private hitting lessons with him. I've been doing them every year since then.'
Part of Lowrie's hitting lessons have been learning to switch-hit, which he began doing since he was a freshman in high school.
'It's difficult working on switch-hitting,' said Lowrie. 'Most players work just on one side, but I've got to work on both swings. A lot of people might think it's easy but switching sides of the plate is really a big adjustment.'
Once, Lowrie made that adjustment four times in the same at-bat.
'It was my junior year in high school,' begins Lowrie. 'We were facing a right-hander and then the other team decided to bring in a lefty to face me, so I switched sides. He threw me one pitch before he hurt his arm. They brought in another righty but after his third pitch, he took off his glove, caught the return throw from the catcher with his right hand and hurt it in the process. Then they brought in another lefty, so I switched back one more time.'
Lowrie hasn't had anything that outrageous happen to him yet during his brief time on The Farm, but he has had to make a lot of adjustments and credits some of the team's older players for helping him and Stanford's other talented freshmen.
'There is a lot of camaraderie on this team because all the upperclassmen really accept the freshman and get us involved,' emphasizes Lowrie. 'They know that we are going to contribute as freshmen and try to make us feel welcome.'
'It's really exciting to look around and be with a good bunch of guys that we have here on this team,' continues Lowrie. 'If we hit like we did in the first game against Texas, there's no way to go but up for this team.'
Lowrie hopes to continue his rapid improvement and seems to fit in with Stanford Baseball and the philosophy of head coach Mark Marquess.
'His whole philosophy is don't waste a day,' commented Lowrie. 'Every day is a day to get better. He tells us that every day, and I really like his whole philosophy about the game.''
There's a lot to like about Lowrie's game, too.
by Kyle McRae