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Fresno State baseball alumnus begins pro career with Fresno Grizzlies

EJ Andrews, Jr. loves Fresno.

But growing up in Long Beach, he really did not know much about the city or the Central Valley.

Everything changed after Andrews made his first visit to Fresno State. As he entered the city limits, he enjoyed the vibes of Fresno. Andrews knew it was the place for him. Everything stabilized when Fresno State baseball coach Mike Batesole offered him a place on the team during his visit.

It was an easy decision for Andrews to make. Within hours, he called Batesole to let him know he was all in.

“Fresno is really buying its sports teams,” Andrews told Red Wave. “I really wanted to be a part of it and it was really a blessing.”

Andrews had a successful career at Long Beach Poly. He helped the Jackrabbits win their first playoff game in 10 years, became a Top 500 Perfect Game player and was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 38th round of MLB Draft 2018. Finally, he decided it was even better for him to attend the State of Fresno.

Andrews was nervous about moving to Fresno, but it quickly became his second home and he began to deal with what the city and its surroundings had to offer.

Whenever he had an appetite for food outside, Dog House Grill was his restaurant. He was grateful he went to Yosemite with his friends and saw the sights of El Capitan and the Half Dome. In his spare time, he made sure to watch other Fresno State sporting events and cheer on his Red Wave peers.

“I had a very good group of teammates and friends out there who really made me feel at home,” Andrews said. “It did not take long for me to get used to it.”

Fresno State winger EJ Andrews, Jr. is running the bases in the sixth inning, after Ryan Higgins won a home in his fight against the Air Force on April 10, 2021, at Bob Bennett Stadium. (Cameron Thorn / The Collegian)

In Diamond, Andrews made a name for himself in Fresno State. The outfielder played 96 games during his career – including the shortened 2020 season due to COVID-19 – and finished his season averaging 0.325, nine home runs and being named All-Mountain West Second Team.

In the middle of his senior season, Batesole pulled Andrews aside and told him that MLB scouts were coming to Fresno State races to watch him play.

“It struck me then that the chance of me becoming a professional baseball player was strong,” Andrews said.

On July 13, 2021, this dream came true.

On his way home from the gym, Andrews received a life-changing phone call.

Appropriately, it was Jermaine Clark, a former Fresno State baseball coach and Colorado Rockies scout, at the other end of the call. Clark informed Andrews that the Rockies drafted him in the 12th round of the MLB 2021 draft.

“It was a surreal moment,” Andrews said.

As he celebrated the fulfillment of his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, Andrews quickly realized that this meant starting his career in the city he loved: Fresno.

Now, the same fans who saw him play as a bulldog can watch him embark on his professional journey to Fresno Grizzlies, the Rockies Single-A subsidiary. When Andrews’s name is announced Friday at Opening Night at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno, it will be the beginning of a long-hard-working dream.

Andrews said he could not be happier to start in the city he loves.

“I can not say enough thanks to Red Wave. I was a 17-year-old going out here. “The Valley really took me and I’m really grateful for that,” said Andrews. “To watch the start of my college career [to] to finish and now to watch the start of my professional career means a lot to me “.

Fresno State baseball alumnus begins pro career with Fresno Grizzlies Source link Fresno State baseball alumnus begins pro career with Fresno Grizzlies

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