PITT Baseball

Bell: "It's (Pitt Baseball Is) A Piece Of Clay Ready To Be Molded"

Bell Talks Goals For PITT Baseball And How To Build On Success Last Season

July 13, 2018 - 8:43 pm

New Pitt Baseball Head Coach Mike Bell joined Jeff Hathhorn on the Pest-Co Pirates Preview Show Friday evening to discuss why he chose Pitt and why now was the appropriate time for him to take a head coaching position.

Jeff opens the interview welcoming Mike to Pittsburgh and they discuss some of Mike's first impressions of the city and joke about being happy that there is a Maps app on your phone.

Jeff asks Mike why this was the right fit for him to become a Head Coach.

"The landscape of college baseball has changed so much in the last 5-10 years with so much parity in the game," said Bell.  "You're seeing a lot of programs from the North, the West and the South having a lot of success."

Mike talks about what makes ACC Baseball one of the best baseball conferences in the country and how to build on last season's success had by Pitt.

"This (Pitt Baseball) is a diamond in the rough," said Bell.  "It's a piece of clay that's ready to be molded here.  They had some success last year getting to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, but honestly they've only scratched the surface."

On what fans can expect when they come out to Pitt Baseball games next season.

"We're going to always build our teams off of pitching, defense and baserunning," said Bell.  "Anybody can beat anybody in the game of baseball.  And as you've seen time and time again, dominating pitching will overrule and offensive club any day of the week."

Jeff asks Mike about retaining Jerry Oakes and how important it was to keep him and why keeping Oakes on staff was the best thing for the Pitt Baseball program.

Jeff and Mike also get into one of the players he got to coach at Florida State, Jameis Winston, and just how good of a baseball player he was.

Pirates Third Baseman Colin Moran was at North Carolina and he remembers a key late at bat in a Monday Night nationally televised game when Winston was on the mound.  "Jameis' pitch was a slider and really was just developing a changeup," said Bell.  "We all knew Colin was kind of susceptable to a changeup, so we are going ok we can go with a fastball up in the zone maybe get him to chase or go with a changeup which was Jameis' third best pitch.  Jameis goes back gets an extra little mile or two and next thing you know it was 93 right past him."

Jeff asks Mike if Jameis Winston could have made it at the major league level as a pitcher in baseball.

Bell says, "Without hesitation no doubt.  Jameis Winston could do whatever Jameis Winston wants to do."  He says he could of made it as a pitcher or even as a switch hitting outfielder.  Bell called Winston a true competitor and a true team leader.

Mike says it is neat seeing the success stories in the majors of players he coached or coached against.  He remembers playing against Pirates Shortstop Jordy Mercer when he was at Oklahoma and Jordy was at Oklahoma State.  

Listen to the full interview with Mike Bell below:

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