Family and baseball come together when a young man has the dream of becoming the next best pitcher in the world.
Alex Koronis has always put family in front of everything else in life, which has gotten him to where he is now: at the University of Tampa, competing to be the best pitcher and striving for a NCAA Division II National Championship.’
Living in Miami, Fla., at the young age of five, Koronis’ parents signed him up for Little League T-Ball.’
‘Ever since I was a young boy, I loved playing the game,’ stated Koronis.
Having the influence of two parents with different ideals brought Koronis up to be both disciplined and compassionate about the world around him.’ These views taught him to play baseball the right way-with no short cuts, while remaining humble even in the face of failure.
Koronis played shortstop and centerfield all the way from his days of t-ball up to the end of his sophomore year in high school.
Overall, he proved to be a well-rounded player, but as time grew on pitching came a little more natural, as first noted by his coach at Monsignor Pace High School, Tom Duffin.
Coach Duffin noticed Koronis had a strong arm, and asked him to take the mound and throw some pitches at practice.’
Not being able to hit a curve ball, Koronis found his place on the mound from that day forward.’ However, during that summer, Koronis blew out his right pitching arm, resulting in a severely torn tendon. Baseball season and practices were starting soon, and senior year season could prove to be difficult for Koronis.
After months of rehabilitation on his arm from the summer into the fall, Koronis gained full mobility and, once again, took the mound as the starting pitcher.’ The injury was no match for Koronis’ passion for the game, and this season was better than the last.’
Winning his high school state championship in 2006, Koronis states, ‘This will be a memory I keep forever, and one that will last a lifetime.’
He was drafted in 2006 out of high school by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 40th round, but rethought his priorities and decided to attend college.
Electing to go to college, Koronis decided to stay close to home and bring his game to the University of Miami.’ Koronis made his first start against Georgia Tech and struck out three batters in 2.2 innings.’ At Miami as a freshman, he posted a 9.00 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 30 innings, thus resulting in him going 3-2 overall as a pitcher.
However, being a Cane ‘was not the right fit,’ Koronis stated. ‘The coaches were very structured and only taught about winning.’
Koronis started to do his homework, looking at other baseball programs in the state.’ It was then that he came across the University of Tampa, where he felt the program was, ‘fun, the coaches cared about the players, and they knew how to run a winning program.’
Enrolling in the baseball program at UT in 2008, Koronis quickly gained an appreciation for the school and his new team.
From Miami to Tampa, Koronis has found his new home where he began and will finish as a starting pitcher, while studying sport management.
With the dream of becoming a professional starting pitcher, Koronis focuses on education and being a team player-a balance of what his family taught him from the days of Little League T-Ball.’ ‘ ‘
Benjamin Fishman is a first time writer for The Minaret.