(Photo via the Washington Times, seen here)
After sitting around with family, everyone checking their phones, and while he was on the phone with another MLB team, Bryce Nightengale was drafted by the Oakland Athletics and his childhood dream had finally begun to come true.
“Some of the emotions I had were pure joy and excitement,” expressed Nightengale. “It was a really cool experience.”
From Cresaptown, Maryland, Nightengale is a right-handed pitcher that played for George Mason University before being drafted. Amongst his various athletic accomplishments and titles, Nightengale finished this past season 6-6 with a 3.45 ERA and pitched 88 2/3 innings with 80 strikeouts before he was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 16th round on the last day of the three-day MLB draft.
In the first game against George Washington University, Nightengale fell behind the Colonials who put up three runs by the third inning. After settling down in the fourth inning, Nightengale put away 11 of the next 13 hitters he faced through the seventh inning.
“I was struggling in the first two innings getting hit around a little bit,” said Nightengale. “But after the first two innings I settled in and shut them down giving our team the chance to win the game and put us in the conference tournament.”
Starting his professional baseball career with the Athletics have presented Nightengale with opportunities to grow as a player and begin his journey to the big leagues.
“My plans with the A’s are to take in what it means to be in Pro ball,” said Nightengale. “This year I’m just trying to figure out the ins and outs of professional baseball and work my way up the farm league system.”
Part of figuring out the ins and outs of professional baseball is being able to keep up with nutrition and health and learning how to remain healthy to play over 100 games every season.
“Being able to play over 100 games every season requires a balance of nutrition and working out,” explained Nightengale. “I think these are a huge factor in being able to stay healthy so I can play whenever called on.”
As for being excited for this beginning opportunity to be with a professional ball team, Nightengale is eager to begin tackling his challenges and play the game he has been so passionate about since he was a young child.
“I’m extremely excited for all of the opportunities that lie before me,” said Nightengale. “I am excited to be able to work with all the best coaches and trainers you could possibly ask for.”
His eagerness to play goes beyond just enjoying the game of baseball.
“I want to work on bettering myself and keep getting better every day no matter what this baseball life road holds in store for me,” expressed Nightengale.
This past Monday, Nightengale pitched two scoreless innings for the Vermont Lake Monsters against the Aberdeen Ironbirds.