By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Intern
(November 13, 2013) – Stone Bridge High School senior pitcher Devon Perez has committed to continue his baseball career at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia starting in the 2014-2015 school year.
“I chose Old Dominion because it is a great fit for me socially and athletically,” the 6-foot-4 Perez said. “The team just joined Conference-USA which features great competition that will only help me improve as a pitcher. I wanted to play against the best teams possible, and ODU is definitely providing me with that.”
Formerly a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, the Division I Monarchs joined Conference-USA in July 2013. Last season in the CAA, Old Dominion finished the season 30-24 and 15-12 in conference.
“The coaches are really dedicated to the players and it shows. They were always adamant on getting me to go to ODU and showed a true desire for me,” said Perez who plays travel ball for the DeMarini stars. “I had a special connection with the pitching coach, Tim Lavigne, from the minute I met him. He seemed like a great guy and an even better coach.”
Perez feels Lavigne can take his game to the next level both starting games and coming out of the bullpen.
“I believe that I’ll add a unique spark to the ODU pitching rotation,” said the Ashburn native. “I can start games or come off the bench to relieve and close. Being this dual threat, I believe it will elevate my game, and allow me to get innings during my freshmen year. I love being in pressure situations: this is where I succeed the most.”
Perez should get opportunities to both start games and come out of the bullpen during his senior year for the Bulldogs under head coach Sam Plank. Plank led the 2013 Bulldogs to a 12-13 season ending with a loss to Oakton High School in the Northern Region quarterfinal.
“We didn’t have the year we expected last year, but I believe we can bounce back,” Perez said. “With me and JB Bukauskas emerging as seniors and taking the leading role, everything will be intensified. With two DI pitchers taking the lead of a team good things are always expected. Everybody is going to want to beat us, this just makes every game that more important.”
More important for Perez than baseball are his grandparents who have been there for him since his start on the diamond. At just three years old Perez’s grandfather introduced him to the game of baseball. Every day he would hit a Whiffle ball of a tee in his front yard.
“My passion for baseball comes from his passion for me,” Perez said. “He always kept me on track with my goals, and he has helped me reach them.Through thick and thin, they’ve always been by my side. I always wanted to succeed for them because they tried so hard to help me get to this point. There’s only so much they can do, and now it’s my turn to take control. The want and desire to succeed for them is what keeps me motivated.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete.