Q & A with Missouri State Commit LHP Jake Lochner (Sullivan, 2015)



Jeff Viles
Dir. of Operations - Associate Scout PBR-Missouri

 

Jake Lochner (Sullivan, 2015) recently committed to Missouri State University. The 5-foot-11 160-pound LHP has been impressive over the last few months. Last spring, Lochner went 8-2 with a 0.75 ERA in 46 2/3 innings pitched. He tallied 90 strikeouts and tossed four complete games in nine starts. He was named second-team All-State by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association as a pitcher. Lochner topped out at 86 MPH at PBR's St. Louis Metro All-State Showcase in February. He has a sharp, late breaking ball with 2/8 shape at 68-71 MPH and throws a change with fastball arm speed at 75-77 MPH. He has smooth rhythm in is his delivery with a 3/4 release.

We recently had a question/answer session about baseball and the overall recruiting process with Jake. Here are his responses:

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Lochner: I never really had an expectation of the recruiting process because I had no idea how it all worked. Once it took off it was fun and it went smoothly.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Lochner: Distance did play some part in my decision. I wanted to stay relatively close to home while getting to play top level college baseball, which Missouri State will provide.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Lochner: I was first seen by the coaches at a fall showcase and then they said they would like to have me back for a winter showcase. So, I got a good feel for the program.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Lochner: I don’t know of a single player that stood out, but as a team I think that Luthern South was very good even though we won the game. They still put runners on and never quit on the field and in the dugout.

PBR: What has been the lowest point in your baseball career; what have you learned from it and how has it helped you grow as a player?

Lochner: The lowest point in my baseball career was a time when I couldn’t throw strikes on the mound. It was frustrating for me because I expect better of myself. It helped me grow as a player because it helped me realize that you cannot lose focus and you can’t dwell on what has past.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were an elite player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Lochner: I don’t think I ever thought I was an elite player, I just try to do the best I can to help my team accomplish a goal.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Lochner: I was looking for a place to help me develop as a baseball player, student and also a person. I think that Missouri State provides all three of those and it is only 2 hours away.

PBR: What is your best attribute as a baseball player and how does that transfer onto the field for your team?

Lochner: I think that my best attribute as a baseball player is my positive attitude and my work ethic.

PBR: What part of your game needs the biggest improvement, why, and what will you do to improve it?

Lochner: The part of my game that needs the most improvement is getting ahead of hitters and not falling behind in counts because when you fall behind hitters tend to sit fastball. Also I would like to be a more vocal leader instead of only leading by example.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Lochner: My advice to young baseball players would be to have a short term memory. You will always have a slump or a bad performance, but that can’t effect how you play your next game, or even your next at bat.

PBR: What do you do in the off-season to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Lochner: In the off season I take a break from baseball for 3 months to kick field goals and punt for my high school football team. When football ends I start by working out 4 days a week and running. Then the other days I play long toss and as the season nears start working with pitching coaches and doing bullpens.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Lochner: The most memorable moment thus far in my baseball career was this year when I threw a 2-hit shutout with 17 strikeouts against Hermann.

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Lochner: I liked that Missouri State is close to home, with a great program, great facilities, and great coaches. Also my family has good history with Missouri State because my dad played there and my brother currently attends school there.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Lochner: Missouri State was where I knew I wanted to go, but I also considered Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Lochner: The recruiting process really started for me in the middle of my high school season. It was a good year throughout, but I don’t think there is one particular event that stands out.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Lochner: This year we will have many returning seniors with 3 returning starting pitchers. This year’s team should be a solid team. We will lack power, but we will be a scrappy line drive hitting team. This year, like most seniors I would like to win conference and even make a run at the state title.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Lochner: In the summer I play for the Rawlings Tigers. The most memorable thing for me is not so much the games or tournaments, but getting to meet and play with a whole new group of guys after my high school season is over.

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