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Chatham, Mass. — This evening, we’re taking five minutes in conversation with pitcher Josiah Gray. Josiah is a rising junior at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and has been a key closer for the Anglers this season, earning two saves and one win in ten games. He has made seven scoreless appearances, striking out sixteen over 10.1 innings. His fastball has reached an impressive 97 mph this summer, the fastest of any Angler recorded in the 2017 season.
When did you start playing baseball'
Gray: I want to say I started playing baseball when I was six. I think I started with tee ball, and then just worked my way up.
You just finished your sophomore year at Le Moyne. How did you decide to go there — did you think about other schools'
Gray: I looked at other schools, but Le Moyne was the first school that really offered me. They had a need at my positions and basically it was just a good fit on that regard, and also they had good academics along with a good baseball program, so so far so good. I’m very happy with my decision so far.
Were you always a pitcher'
Gray: I was always a shortstop but I also pitched on the side, I would say that. I started — I want to say specializing in — pitching in eleventh grade, I was the ace on our high school varsity team. Since then I’ve also been a pitcher while playing shortstop on the side.
Which do you prefer — pitching or playing infield'
Gray: I love doing both — I think most of the guys that I’ve talked to that are two ways, they just can’t decide because on the hitting side you love like getting the job done or hitting a home run, and on the pitching side you love striking out guys and racking up saves, bringing in wins. So to be honest, I’m cut in the middle.
Do you feel like you have made improvements to your technique and execution in your time on the Cape'
Gray: I think after that game against Y-D early at their place, I’ve definitely improved on some things, but I’m also sticking to the same things I’ve been doing. Ever since then, I’ve been pretty darn good, so everything’s worked out so far.
What will you take away from this summer'
Gray: Definitely the relationships with a lot of these guys — I’m probably not going to see any more of these guys around because they’re all Division I guys, but pro ball is also in the future, so I’ll see that. I’ll see Jason [Turner] around, we play them [Saint Anselm] next year. And then also just knowing the competition from here — it’s going to be similar competition in pro ball, so day in day out you’ve got to know that you’re going to play the best guys that are the best in their college teams. It’s going to be gritty, and you’ve just got to be able to do it.
What’s your favorite major league team and player'
Gray: I might get in trouble for this answer, but [my] favorite team is the Yankees of course, because I’m pretty close to Yankee Stadium. Favorite player would be Mookie Betts on the Red Sox — it might get me in a little bit of trouble, but I’m being honest.
Do you have a favorite meal or food that you like to eat on game days'
Gray: On home games, me and Jason have been drinking smoothies. It’s been sort of a tradition now, so I want to say that’s my go-to pregame meal for now.
Do you have a regular walkout song at school'
Gray: My walkout song this year was Travis Scott Night Riders — good song.
Do you have any pregame rituals that you do to get in the zone'
Gray: Not really, I just go with the flow, see how I’m feeling that day. I’m starting to run a few sprints here and there, before a few games, and I’ve had good outings so far since I started doing that. So I’ll probably bring that back to school and see how long I can keep the streak going.
What has been your favorite thing about spending time on the Cape this summer'
Gray: The environment’s awesome, you know we get a ton of people at our games while also being able to enjoy the town of Chatham which I think is the nicest place on the Cape that I’ve seen. I just want to say that it’s been a great experience so far, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, you know what I mean. I think some people are in worse situations but I think we’re in a good spot right now.
The Anglers face the Falmouth Commodores for the fourth and final time this season at Veterans Field tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.