COMMUNITY: Pro pitcher Roenicke takes time with Nevada County youth | TheUnion.com

COMMUNITY: Pro pitcher Roenicke takes time with Nevada County youth

Josh Roenicke, a 2001 Nevada Union graduate and professional baseball player, made an appearance at the Gold Country Baseball Academy facilities Nov. 22 to speak with aspiring young ball players.

In front of a crowd of about 100 people, 60 of which were youngsters, Roenicke spoke about his path to the pros, mental game, mechanics, arm care and answered questions from the kids.

“It was awesome,” Roenicke said of the experience. “I had never really done anything like that up there. It was a lot of fun. I tried to let them pick my brain.”

Roenicke, a 6-foot, 3-inch, right-handed reliever, spent the 2016 season in the Angels minor league system, pitching for single-A Inland Empire, Double-A Arkansas and Triple A Salt Lake. Roenicke had bounced around the Majors from 2008-2013, having stints with the Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins.

Roenicke, 34, said he is currently a free agent and is in the process of looking at his options for the 2017 season.

Roenicke added he was happy to see a baseball training facility like the Gold Country Baseball Academy has in Grass Valley.

“When I heard about it I was pumped,” he said. “We didn’t have anything like that… I’m glad the kids are passionate about baseball and have this indoor facility.”

The Gold Country Baseball Academy is located at 11229 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. For more information about Gold Country Baseball Academy visit http://goldcountrybears.com.

Russell Brackett, President of Baseball Operations at Gold Country Baseball Academy, said Roenicke had an important message to pass along to the young athletes in the crowd.

“It was a great night for Gold Country Baseball Academy to be able to bring in a hometown kid and show our youth that just because you come from a small town doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish big things.” he said. “Our goal is to continue to bring in guys like Josh to help grow this game in our community and to keep kids excited about baseball.”

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.