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Fielding trades his Rocklin blue for Oregon State orange

Pitching ace set school record for wins last season
By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Star pitcher Matt Fielding, who just graduated from Rocklin High earlier this month, is excited about his upcoming college career at Oregon State. Oregon State went 32-24 this season and 12-15 in the Pac-10 but the Beavers won the national baseball championship in 2006 and 2007. “I’m really excited,” said Fielding, 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds. “They won back-to-back national championships a couple years ago and Pat Casey is a Hall of Fame coach. They are a really good program. I accepted right away once I found out that they were going to offer me a scholarship. It’s a really good baseball school and it’s kind of a dream come true to actually go to a Pac-10 school (and play baseball).” The scholarship will pay 70 percent of Fielding’s tuition, all of his books and some of his meals. Fielding, a left-hander, went 11-2 this season, setting a school record for most wins in a season. He also had nine complete games, four shutouts and a no-hitter among his 12 starts this season for Rocklin. Fielding struck out 107 batters in 85 innings with a 1.15 earned run average. He gave up just 53 hits and 15 walks. Rocklin won the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division II title in 2010 and 2009 and Fielding was the winning pitcher in both championship games. He went all seven innings in the final game on May 31, holding Granite Bay to two hits and one walk. Fielding was very good as a junior also but coach Roc Murray was impressed with his improvement as a senior. He went 10-3 as a junior with an ERA of 2.12. He had 74 strikeouts in 79.1 innings. He also pitched on the varsity as a sophomore, going 4-2 with an ERA of 2.86. He whiffed 47 guys in 41.2 innings. “The biggest change between his junior and senior year was his curveball really started to come around and his changeup really started to develop,” Murray said. “Matt has an uncanny ability to pound the zone. He throws strikes. And he is an unbelievable competitor.” Fielding loved playing for Murray for three years. “Roc Murray helps us all become better people and he is really the best coach I’ve ever had,” Fielding said. “He’s helped me a lot to get to Oregon State. A lot of people know him and Pat Casey knows him. He’s helped me grow as a person and as a leader. And every team that I have played for him on has grown together and become a family.” Murray says that Fielding’s personality matches his pitching style. “Matt is a no nonsense guy and he doesn’t get too high or too low and doesn’t say a whole lot,” Murray said. “But when he speaks people listen. And usually what he says is very important. He has never been a big shot on any level - he is a grinder. And his style of pitching goes with that very well. He pitches the way he is – the kind of person that he is. You match that up and you end of being a better player. He’s a grinder and knows he is a grinder.” Murray and Cleveland Indians scout Paul Cogan, a Rocklin resident, helped Fielding get to Oregon State. Murray also works as an Indians scout under Cogan. “Matt was going to the Oregon State Showcase (last year) and Paul had left a message with Pat and I talked with Pat. And Matt stopped on his way (to the showcase) and Pat showed him around,” Murray said. “And they got into the season and they called me during the fall (of 2009) and we talked at length (about Fielding) and they stayed with it the whole time. And Paul talked to Pat again (about Fielding) and had lots of good things to say. He said (to Casey) that he was a guy you need to have (at Oregon State).” Fielding said he also received interest from the University of California at Berkeley and Sacramento State. “Oregon State was the first one to call me on the day that they can first contact me – they called me that morning (last summer),” Fielding said. “And ever since then we have just been talking and talking and figuring stuff out. I didn’t even really expect anything (in terms of an offer from Oregon State). It wasn’t a given that I would go there.” Fielding was also decent offensively over the last two years for the Thunder – combining to bat .318 (42-for-132) with 33 runs, 16 RBI and seven doubles. But it’s his arm that Oregon State is interested in. “I’m pretty sure the first year they will use me in some relief,” Fielding said. “To start the game they’ll use a guy throwing hard and then they’ll bring in someone like me to locate (the pitches) and stuff.”