Brian Whatcott, a junior from Springville, Utah majoring in exercise science, has been nothing but solid this year for the baseball team as a relief pitcher. In 8.2 innings played this season, Whatcott has recorded five strikeouts and two saves. He hasn’t allowed a run, and batters are only hitting .219 against him. Being the closer, Brian knows that a game can be put in his hands at any moment, but he still manages to keep an extremely level head on and off the field.
After graduating from Springville High School, Whatcott saw a big opportunity to showcase his talent at the ever-growing Utah Valley University.
“It was kinda close to home, and I knew that they were making a transition to being a bigger school and everything, and I wanted to be a part of that,” Whatcott said.
Although he spends countless hours honing his skills on the practice field, Whatcott still has a love for the outdoors and enjoys things like golfing, fishing and biking. What’s obviously most important to Whatcott though is his family, and he acknowledges that he could not be where he is without their support.
“I’ve got school, I’ve got practice, and with traveling and everything you can’t really work a job,” Whatcott said. “My parents have definitely helped me out through the years being here. Not to mention they’re at every game watching everything. They’re a big part of it for me.”
Baseball has not always been Whatcott’s main focus. He played football and basketball in high school, but baseball was where he found his niche.
“It’s tough at that age to play all three,” Whatcott said. “I just enjoyed baseball the most. I figured I was best at it and it was what I wanted to focus on.”
Whatcott is in his third season at UVU and is accustomed to the pressure of being a closer. Having to watch the entire game, knowing that if it comes down to it, he’s going to be the one that is called on would be too much for some people to handle, but Whatcott takes it in stride.
“Being in [the dugout] the whole game is tough, you know,” Whatcott said. “I just mentally prepare myself, look at the scoreboard and just get myself ready to go. It’s kind of hard after eight innings of just sitting there, but you just got to get your mind right and mentally know what you have to do.”
The team’s current overall record is t 9-16 with the season passing the halfway mark, but Whatcott knows that this very young team has what it takes to be great. With UVU joining the Western Athletic Conference next season, Whatcott and his team are very excited for what the future can bring.
“I think it’s exciting. Like I said, I’ve been here since the school was independent and I’ve just seen this whole transition, it’s really cool,” Whatcott said. “The GWC is a great conference, but we are going to be able to play for an automatic bid to the tournament.”
By Weston Brierley