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Home Stretch — Episode 14: Utah Baseball Season Preview with Micah Ashman

In this episode, the Utah baseball team’s junior pitcher Micah Ashman sat down to talk about his recent baseball accomplishments, and how he is preparing for the upcoming baseball season.
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Mary Allen
(Design by Mary Allen | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Transcript:

Kyle Garrison: Welcome back to the Home Stretch, The Daily Utah Chronicle’s sports podcast. I’m your host, Kyle Garrison, and today we’re going to be interviewing Micah Ashman, the junior left-handed pitcher for the Utah men’s baseball team. Welcome to the podcast, Micah.

Micah Ashman: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here and be able to represent the Utah baseball team.

Kyle Garrison: Love that, man. So after making the Pac-12 all-conference team and recording nine saves last year, what did you do this off-season to prepare for this upcoming season? 

Micah Ashman:  Yeah, I mean, a lot of what I did was, I took a, took a decent amount off. I think it’s always good to give your arm a little bit of a break, especially when you’ve been playing for such a long season as we do. But then I was able, able to go play summer ball up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Shout out the Rox, great program, super fun, and I was able to get up there, really work on my craft, kind of work on my off speed to be able to add more tools kind of to that tool belt and be able to just have something else to go to. 

Kyle Garrison: For sure. So I saw that you led the team in ERA at 3.63 last year. How do you prepare as a reliever to come in and kind of deliver in such high leverage situations?

Micah Ashman: Yeah, a lot of it is kind of, kind of what you do before it’s, it’s, it’s not so much what you do in the moment, but how you kind of get ready for that moment. So, a lot of visualization. You’re able to kind of go in there and know what you can do and not let the situation kind of get the best of you, and just be able to go out there and trust what you’ve put so much time into and what you put all your work into.

Kyle Garrison: So with Jaden Kiernan graduating, you guys are going to have a new catcher this year. How does that chemistry with the catcher affect you when you’re out on the mound?

Micah Ashman: It’s just a lot of building that kind of one day at a time. It takes, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time, a lot of a lot of baseball guys really kind of know the same thing and really want the same thing. So, a lot of guys’ mindsets are kind of the same thing. So, just taking it one day at a time being able to build that that relationship, get to know the guys, get to know where they’re from, not so much just on a baseball level, kind of on a personal level, because you really want to trust that guy, and you really want him to trust you. So, it’s a big, big trust thing and I think we got really lucky with the catcher who brought it in. Their skills are really well behind the dish. [He’s] kind of one of my favorite catchers to throw to right now really is the kind of main core that we have. So I’m really excited.

Kyle Garrison: Awesome to hear. I love that. So kind of adding on to that, so what kind of things do you guys work on in the offseason when you have a new catcher kind of coming into that everyday starting role or have several catchers that are kind of gonna go into that role?

Micah Ashman: Yeah, it’s just kind of you kind of go into it one day at a time. Being able to create that chemistry and that bond is like, I think one of the biggest ones on a baseball diamond really. I mean, every play interacts with the catcher and pitcher. So, to be able to build that bond and trust with them is huge. So, just kind of taking it one day at a time getting to learn who they are, where they’re from, and just kind of their backstory really. 

Kyle Garrison: Love that. So congratulations, by the way, on being selected to the preseason all-American third team. When you’re receiving praise like that on a national level, what are some things that you do to kind of stay level headed and focused going into such a long season? 

Micah Ashman: Thank you, it was pretty cool. It kind of came out of nowhere. I got a lot of texts and stuff. It was, it was really cool. I’m glad I was able to receive that. Very thankful. You know, it’s kind of you just kind of got to take it one day at a time, and I mean, it’s awesome that I got it, but in the back of the mind, you kind of just have to go out there and show why you got it and be able to work for it. So, I just kind of [think] “work starts now”. Honestly, like, ‘got to go perform.

Kyle Garrison: That’s an excellent mentality. So, what are you most looking forward to this upcoming season? It’s a long season, you got a lot of games, anything in particular?

Micah Ashman: A lot of new guys, it’s, I’m really excited to get out on the field with a lot of new guys. I mean, there’s nothing better in my mind and then going to play baseball with your friends and like your best friends and being able to create that bond on the, on the baseball field is, is something I’ve never really been able to find in other sports. It’s a real, real fun, different kind of chemistry that you are able to build, and I mean, traveling with the guys are with them pretty much for four straight months and it’s just, it’s a great time. Honestly, I love it.

Kyle Garrison: I mean, those are your brothers, man. I love that. Yeah, and then last question, kind of a fun one. Is there anyone currently in the MLB that you’d like to model your game after or just watch in general?

Micah Ashman: I mean, I love watching kind of big lefties. That’s kind of who I like to watch. Kershaw‘s a huge dude. I mean, I’ve always watched him since I was a little guy. I really like watching Chris Sale, haven’t been able to see much of him lately, but that dude just just goes out there and dominates. It’s real fun to watch those guys. I mean, when I was a little kid, one of my favorite guys was watching Jered Weaver, just the Angels guy. One of my favorite, favorite programs to watch and I mean he never went out there and really threw hard or was overpowering but like he just got, got the job done. It was fun to watch him.

Kyle Garrison: Yeah, for sure. So, Micah, thanks so much for coming on. We really appreciate you taking some time out of your day to hop on the podcast. This has been the Home Stretch, The Daily Utah Chronicle sport’s podcast. Thank you for listening. Tune in next week for another episode.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Producer: Stevie Shaughnessey —  [email protected]   | @steviechrony

Host: Kyle Garrison — [email protected] | @Kylegarr23

Guest: Micah Ashman – junior studying communications | Utah Baseball Team

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About the Contributors
Stevie Shaughnessey, Home Stretch Producer, Host
Stevie is a junior transfer student at the U who is majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism, and minoring in documentary studies. In her free time, Stevie likes to take part in many different activities, such as dirt bike riding, snowboarding and photography.
Kyle Garrison, Sports Writer
Kyle garrison grew up in Spring Lake, Michigan. He moved to Salt Lake City to pursue a degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism. Kyle plans on pursuing broadcast journalism as a career once graduating from the University of Utah. Kyle started with the Chronicle this fall and has loved every minute of working with the team.
Mary Allen, Design Director
(she/her) Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Mary is thrilled to be here at the University of Utah studying graphic design. She feels very lucky to get to rub shoulders with the talented people that make up the team here at the Chronicle and is learning a lot from them every day. Other than making things look cute, Mary’s passions include music, pickleball, Diet Coke, wildlife protection, and the Boston Red Sox.

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