Risinger reflects on season

By Barbara Boxleitner
jdanddoc@gmail.com
Posted 4/15/20

Even though the baseball season was shortened, it was a rewarding experience for Madisonville High School graduate Jake Risinger.

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Risinger reflects on season

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Even though the baseball season was shortened, it was a rewarding experience for Madisonville High School graduate Jake Risinger.

Risinger played for the Southwestern Christian University (Okla.) junior varsity team. Although the roster featured five who catch exclusively or catch and play another position, the freshman said he earned the starting spot at catcher.

"Freshmen usually aren't starting in college," he said, "but luckily for us, we have the JV team."

When he didn't catch, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Risinger was the designated hitter or right fielder.

He was pleased with his performance, especially coming off Tommy John surgery on his elbow in March 2019. He said he received physical therapy during the summer and resumed throwing in July. The school's staff medically cleared him in November.

During fall practices he adjusted the position of his hands while batting because he was grounding out often, not making hard contact.

"I was not getting extended," he said. "I'd pull out. I'd open my shoulders up too quick."

He normally batted fifth in the order once the spring season began, he said, and hit .308 with two runs batted in. "I had to really work hard," he said. "I'm going to continue to get better so I make varsity."

His debut was one to remember. In his first at-bat, he struck out facing a pitcher who went on to throw a complete game with professional scouts there watching him.

"He was throwing about 95 (mph)," Risinger said.

Because the season ended early, he said he will be able to receive another year of eligibility. He has been conditioning regularly, including doing pushups and other strengthening exercises. "God's given me another year to get better," he said.

If baseball resumes by summer, he plans to play for the Brazos Valley Renegades, the club team for which he has played years.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.

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