Monday, August 20, 2012

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Doug Fox

Doug Fox (@dfox508) returns for his senior season in the Storm baseball program as the go-to guy out of the bullpen. Doug had a breakout year in 2011 rebounding from arm issues in 2010, making 16 appearances, posting a 2.55 ERA earning All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honors. Doug proved 2011 wasn't a fluke, again anchoring down the Storm bullpen in 2012. Doug posted a 3-1 record with 6 saves and a 2.79 ERA. In his 38.2 innings, Doug struck out 34 in his 24 appearances to earn All-GLIAC honors for the second-straight season. Despite his success on the field, Doug may be best known for the rallying cry when he takes the mound. I caught up with Dooouuug this week to see how his summer went.

Where did you play summer ball?
This past summer I played baseball for the ABCCL Champion Toms River Hurricanes, located in Toms River, NJ.

Did you do anything exciting off the field this summer?
Off the field, I worked at the infamous Shore Store T-Shirt Shop and met the Jersey Shore cast.

Did you keep in touch with or hang out with any teammates?
I stayed in contact with a lot of the team throughout the summer via social network and texting, and hung out with a few guys when I was home for a few days in the beginning of July.

What are you looking forward to most during the upcoming season?
Getting back on the mound, especially that turf one down in Chillicothe.

What did you learn from last season?
From last season I learned that hard work and dedication does pay off. It was great to be part of a team that was capable of winning the game every time we took the field. I also learned a lot about how much time my arm needs to warm-up and created a warm-up routine that worked well for me.

What are some specific drills or parts of your game you focused on this summer?
I went into this summer really wanting to work on my change-up and overall arm strength. When warming-up for bullpens and game days, I would use my change-up grip almost every toss until I got on the mound to start throwing. I would also throw my change-up from 10 feet behind the bullpen mound to work on the right release point. Extending my throwing in distance and time helped strengthen my arm along with the progression routine which involves a softball, tennis ball, and baseball in various drills.

What are some personal goals heading into fall ball?
A personal goal of mine is to show how my arm strength and stamina has increased from the spring, making me a viable candidate for the starting rotation and how my change-up has became a pitch I can comfortably and consistently throw.

How did the end of the team's 2012 season change your approach this summer and heading into fall ball?
As difficult as the end of our season last spring was to swallow, it gave me a lot of motivation and drive to work even harder over the summer and school year to be better prepared for the 2013 season. Seeing how GVSU ended up winning the GLIAC and we took 3 of 4 games from them in the regular season, is just a sign that we have arrived and I have every intention to see LEC in the playoffs next spring again.

You've primarily come out of the bullpen during your college career, but made a few starts this summer. How was the transition from reliever to starter?
My freshman year I made a few starts and in high school I was a starter so I would say making the transition into the bullpen during my sophomore year was more difficult (than transitioning back to a starter) because I needed to learn how to stay loose and ready to go into the game at any moment. Being a starter this summer I expanded my warmup routine that I used in the bullpen and did more throwing before the start of the game.

Did you have a different mind set in the first inning compared to the ninth?
Being able to "settle in" and seeing batters more than one time in the game was the big difference compared to coming in from the (bull)pen. Being on the mound in the first inning I was able to set the tempo for the game and set up a batter in their first at bat to throw them a certain way in their second at bat.  Throwing in the ninth I was focused on getting three outs and usually did not have much room to work with being a tight scoring game.

Stay tuned for the next installment of How I Spent My Summer Vacation. In the meantime, stay up-to-date on Storm baseball on Twitter and the Lake Erie College official athletic website.

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