Matt Fontaine named Tri-City Voice Sports Male Athlete of the Month for June 2011
June 1, 2011-Reprinted fromTri-City Voice Sports.
Matt Fontaine, ace pitcher of the Ohlone College Renegades baseball team, has been named Tri-City Voice Sports Male Athlete of the Month for June. Fontaine was awarded the honor for his stellar performances through May, leading Ohlone to the California Community College Athletic Association baseball championship game, where they fell one game short of a title.
When his team needed him, he stepped up and performed solid. Especially in the postseason. Fontaine has seen the highs (winning a ring as the team's No. 2 starter in 2010) and the lows of Ohlone baseball.
The sophomore righty went 3-0 in three appearances in the 2011 postseason, posting a 2.16 ERA including two complete games, one a nine-inning shutout in Bakersfield against Santa Ana in the Final Four opener. However, he would be denied the elusive second ring as the Renegades fell to San Joaquin Delta in the final round.
TCV: What was this season like for you compared to last year, from being nearly unbeatable in 2010, to fighting back to get into the postseason in 2011?
MF: The season believe it or not was very similar to last year. We started out a little rougher than last year but we did the same thing we did last year, we got better and better after every game and we peaked as a team at the right time. We starting putting hits together just like we did last year. We worked hard and earned every win we had this year.
TCV: What did you take from last year's success to go into this year?
MF: What I took from last year was probably how hard or softmore leaders worked last year and how much fight they had during games. It made me a totally different player and I hope that some of that fight that our softmore showed this year rubbed off on the freshman so that they can keep passing on the fight that Ohlone baseball players have.
TCV: What was the big difference for you individually from working under coach Jordon Twohig, to working under coach Julian Russell?
MF: Coach Twohig and Coach Russell have been teammate when they were in junior college and they were from what I have heard very similar players and they teach the same type of baseball which I think was key to our success this year. They both teach players to be hard nose hardworking players and they teach us that with hard work and determination that you can do anything. So I don't think that there was a difference at all both coaches are great coaches.
TCV: How disappointing was it to have such a strong finish of the regular season, pitch as well as you did in the postseason, and to have it all for nothing in the end?
MF: Yea I was disappointed that we lost in the end but all you can do is do your job and trust your teammates and thats exactly what we did. One thing that I have learned from playing college baseball is that you can't think about yourself, its not about yourself, its about the team. You win as a team and you lose as a team.
TCV: Where does Matt Fontaine go from here? The post-Ohlone life so to say?
MF: From here I will be going to Fresno State next fall, where I will be going to school pursuing a degree in criminal justice. Also I will be playing on the baseball team and try to keep playing baseball as long as I can and when I can't play anymore I would like to be a county sheriff.
TCV: What will you take from Ohlone as you go on with your baseball career, let alone life?
MF: Ohlone taught me that hard work always pays off both in baseball and in life.
TCV: Any pregame rituals you have?
MF: Pre game ritual that I picked up from a guy on the team last yera was always play call of duty the night before a start.
TCV: If you werent pitching, what position would you be playing?
MF: If I wasn't a pitcher I would want to be a third baseman. Thats where I played in high school and I was actually not to terrible at it.
TCV: Better yet, if you weren't playing baseball, what would you be doing?
MF: If I wasn't playing baseball I would probably have a job and goto school like a normal young adult. Maybe be a baseball coach, or at least try to stay involved in the sport somehow.
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