Adversity is a term thrown around the sporting world all too often, but it’s appropriately used to describe Luke Scherzer’s collegiate career. It’s been over two years and eight months since the redshirt senior has last taken the mound. Scherzer sat out the past two seasons due to two Tommy John surgeries. Over his freshman and sophomore years, the right-handed pitcher has collected nine saves and maintains a 4.41 ERA in 52 appearances. Scherzer is poised to return to action and will be a key arm out of the bullpen for the Hokies.
Q: What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?
LS: Probably Chop House. London broil, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Anything from West End pretty much.
Q: What movie title best describes your life?
LS: That’s tough as a college baseball player. I’d say The Longest Yard if you’re going on titles because it’s been a long time here at Virginia Tech.
Q: What’s been your favorite memory over your time at Virginia Tech?
LS: I guess I would have to say the last time I was on the field honestly. Playing with my teammates in Durham when we were in the ACC Tournament.
Q: Do you have any superstitions or routines when you’re on the field?
LS: Not many superstitions before I go up there, but my routines before the game are the same way every single game, pretty much every single practice.
Q: You’re closing out the game and the bases are loaded with 2 outs, 3-2 count to the batter. What pitch are you throwing in that situation?
LS: I would have to go with my slider. I think that’s my most confident pitch.
Q: How has it been working with Coach Fecteau and the work he’s done with you to make sure you’re ready for the season?
LS: Coach Fecteau and Szefc and the rest of the guys have been phenomenal. The instruction has been great, the energy has been awesome. I’m very blessed to have this staff with us this year. Coach Fecteau is brilliant when it comes to mechanics and also with the mental game. He’s a great leader of young men and I look forward to more from him this season.
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned after sitting out the past two seasons with an injury?
LS: You get to kind of see things from a fan’s perspective. You start to enjoy the game for its entertainment instead of analyzing every single play, every single pitch and breaking it all down. I’ve come to enjoy it a lot more, and I don’t take it for granted anymore. I love being at the field, I love being with the guys. I’ve been away from baseball for these last two years and I’m itching to get back into it. I’ve really enjoyed watching the guys play, but I can’t wait to get back on the field.
Q: What will be going through your head when you take the mound for the first time this year in live action?
LS: I’m sure I’ll have a bunch of nerves, a bunch of adrenaline. Just hope that I can go out there and throw strikes. Get some outs and help the team win.
Q: In your first two years, you were used as a closer, compiling a combined nine saves. What kind of mentality do you need to have as a closer to come in and shut the door in the 9th inning?
LS: You have to be extra careful about runners. You can’t be giving up runs. You give up runs, you lose the game. You have an opportunity to shut the door, close the game out, win the game. I think you just have to be really tough in the moment and handle adversity really well and throw strikes and make some big pitches.
Q: How do you want people to remember Luke Scherzer when you take off the Virginia Tech jersey for the last time?
LS: I want them to remember me as a great guy, a good leader, a good teammate. Fun to watch and hopefully they’ll remember me as having some success later in my career.