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From The Dugout - Oregon Baseball Blog

Dec. 28, 2009

A Q&A With Future Duck Stefan Sabol

The Oregon baseball program continues to ink some of the best recruits in the country, and throughout the winter, will conduct Q&A’s with future Ducks, who recently signed their National Letters of Intent with the UO during November’s early signing period.

Second on the interview list is current Aliso Niquel High School (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) senior Stefan Sabol.

Sabol is a potential Major League Baseball first-round draft pick in 2010, and is the 8th-ranked recruit in the state of California (No. 25 in the nation) according to PerfectGame Crosschecker.

The 6-foot-2 catcher was one of just 40 high school players invited to the Aflac All-American game at PETCO Park last summer, and Sabol also played for the Milwaukee Brewers Blue Area Code team along with fellow 2010 UO recruits Tyler Kuresa and Aaron Sanchez. During his junior season at Aliso Niquel HS, Sabol hit .350 with 25 runs scored, 14 RBIs, six home runs, three doubles, 10 stolen bases, a .485 on-base percentage and a .638 slugging percentage. What interested you about the Oregon baseball program during the recruiting process?

Stefan Sabol: The amazing coaching staff with Coach Horton, Coach Kirby, and Coach Checketts was one of the main reasons.  Being from Southern California, I knew what a great coaching staff Oregon assembled, and I knew this was going to be the place to play baseball.  The other reason I chose the UO was that Eugene is an awesome town, and the University of Oregon has the total package when it comes to the college experience. I wanted to be a part of something special; not only bringing baseball back to Oregon, but helping the Ducks get to Omaha...and win!

GD: What was it like for you on signing day when you were able to sign your national letter of intent?

SS: I didn't have a special signing at my high school, so I did it at home with my family.  My family has been supporting me from the first time I picked up a baseball bat, so having my family there was what really mattered to me. It was very exciting to become an official member of the Duck family, considering I made a verbal commitment when home plate was a mark in the dirt in the parking lot at Autzen.

GD:  What are your thoughts about playing at PK Park, arguably the best facility in the Pac-10, for the 2011 season?

SS: Playing at PK Park will be awesome, and I am so fortunate to be a part of this program.  The playing surface is perfect and pristine - it just doesn't get any better than PK Park.  I am so excited to get a chance to compete and hopefully make some good memories.

GD:  Did you make a visit to Eugene, and what was your most memorable moment or place from that trip?

SS: I've actually been up to Eugene twice; once for an unofficial last year, and this year for my official.  Both times were memorable, especially meeting the coaches and my future teammates. But I'd have to say stepping on the field for the first time at PK Park was probably my favorite moment.  I walked from home plate down the line in left and all around the outfield so I could get look at all the angles.

GD:  I am assuming your goal is to play professional baseball one day, but while in school what do you plan to study?

SS:  Well I plan to study business, but I'm not exactly sure what I am going to specialize in yet. I'm thinking about looking into sports marketing or management.

GD:   What are your goals for your upcoming senior season at Aliso Niquel High School?

SS: I'm just going to have fun and let the results take care of themselves.  One goal I do have is to help our team win its league championship, but besides that, I'm just going to enjoy playing baseball and keep working hard on developing my game.  I am also going to take care of things in classroom so I can graduate with honors.

GD: What was it like to play at Petco Park in the Aflac All-American game last summer?

SS:   Playing at Petco as an Aflac All-American was definitely one of the greatest highlights of my life.  Playing in front of 8,000 people and in front of many others on national TV was amazing.  Not many players have that opportunity; it was a complete honor to be selected.  The whole experience was wonderful; from playing with some really good players, sightseeing, and getting the opportunity to visit the children's hospital and spend some time with really great kids.

GD: Another prestigious honor was playing for the Milwaukee Brewers Blue Area Code team at the Area Code Games. What was it like to play with Tyler Kuresa and Aaron Sanchez? Any funny stories to pass on about your future Duck teammates?

SS: I have played with Aaron Sanchez many times before, and we played with each other on Angels Elite team during the fall.  It was my first time playing with Tyler, but we got close and I enjoyed playing with him.  We're both half Samoan too, so I think that played a part in it as well.  Both Aaron and Tyler are great players, and I can't wait to start playing with them up at Oregon every day. 

GD:  And last but not least, what is one thing Oregon fans would be surprised to know about you.

SS: Well, an interesting fact about me is that I am a second cousin with the Steelers’ strong safety, Troy Polamalu.