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Get to Know Q&A with Baseball Senior Jake Niezen

Feb. 12, 2018

Cullowhee, N.C. - As opening day of the 2018 Catamount baseball season approaches, continues the series of question and answer sessions with Western Carolina senior baseball players.

Both season and single-game tickets for the 2018 season are on sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center. Fans can also call the ticket office at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401, or visit

WCU opens the 2018 season with a three-game series against directional rival, East Carolina, Feb. 16-18 at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C. The Catamounts’ home opener is set for Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the front-end of a nonconference home-and-home with Morehead State and is the first of a season-long, six-game homestand, Feb. 20-28.

The next student-athlete in the Catamount Baseball Q&A series is a senior RHP Jake Niezen.

What motivates you to work hard…?
Niezen: “It has to come from within, but also doing it for my teammates.”

To date, what is your proudest accomplishment and why…?
Niezen: “Being able to play at Western Carolina University.”

Growing up, what baseball player did you model your game after – or who did you want to be…?
Niezen: “’The Quiz,’ Dan Quisenberry” (former RHP for Kansas City, St. Louis & San Francisco)

What are your individual goals for the 2018 season…?
Niezen: “To help us compete for a championship.”

What made you choose Western Carolina University to play collegiate baseball…?
Niezen: “I loved the program, the coaches, and all of my teammates.”

What does being a Catamount mean to you…?
Niezen: “It means to compete at the best of my ability.”



What are your favorite things about playing a home game at Western Carolina…?
Niezen: “We have amazing fans and tradition here – it’s electric.”

As a baseball player, do you have any pregame or pre at-bat / taking the mound superstitions…?
Niezen: “Just giving God thanks for the opportunity.”

Wearing a baseball cap – flat bill…? Curved bill…? Backwards…? Curved bill
Wearing baseball pants – long over cleats…? High to show socks…? In-between…? The mids!
Colored socks…? Or old-fashioned stirrups…? Stirrups play!
Wearing batting gloves – on or off…? Off

What did you think that you’d outgrow – but haven’t?
Niezen: “Lucky Charms – but they are just so good.”

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time…?
Niezen: “I would be outside exploring.”

What is your favorite zoo animal?
Niezen: “A sloth.”

If you could play any other sport in college besides baseball, what would it be – and why…?
Niezen: “A football kicker; I once kicked a 40-yard field goal.”

If you could have any super power, what would it be…?
Niezen: “A rubber arm so that I was never sore after pitching.”