Inside the Recruitment: '20 3B Andrew Clelland commits to Pitt





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Andrew Clelland, 3B, Harrison Central HS

PBR: Why did you choose Pitt?

Clelland:  My goal has always been to work my butt off to be a starter on the mound or at 3rd base for a major DI program.  I always thought that I would have to or want to go down South to make my dream become a reality.  With Pitt I do not have to leave my family and friends.  Pitt is in the best conference in the country and they play down South probably more than half their schedule.  When I started talking to the Coaching Staff it felt right from the beginning.  I really love what they are doing there and how they go about getting it done.  I realized real quick that Pitt could be the best fit for me and I did not want to miss the opportunity to be there when they offered.

PBR: What other schools were you considering? 
Clelland:  Michigan State, Oklahoma, North Carolina, NC State, James Madison, Auburn, Notre Dame, Kent, Vandy and Wright State.

PBR: Where did coaching staff first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Clelland:  They first watched me at a Showcase this fall when my 15u All American team played against the 17u Gowags team.  They are also in contact with Dan Ninemire who runs my summer and fall organization Team All American Baseball quite a bit.  They were asking about some of our older players and some other 2020's and I believe it really got going right there.  I was lucky enough to have been able to throw a bullpen at Pitt when my Team All American baseball organization had a camp up there a few months ago and I also went to the Pitt Prospect Evaluations they had a few weeks ago and threw for them again.  I have been calling Coach Oaks for a few months now to stay in contact.

PBR: How does it feel to be a part of a Division 1 program?

Clelland:   It's unbelievable to know that all the hard work you put in is actually being noticed.  It's the best feeling in the world right now and motivates me to work even harder.   I'm humbled, blessed and just as happy as anyone can be right now.  I catch myself thinking back when my dad just wouldn't quit pushing me.  He has always told me that I owe the game and the game doesn't owe me anything. I understand everything my dad has been telling me over the years and can't thank him enough. 

PBR: What role do the coaches expect you to play your first year on campus? 

Clelland:  My role my first year will be to get better every day and help my team in any way possible.  Keep getting stronger and compete in any aspect that they need me to.  Either in the field or on the mound.  I want to be a conference starter and will do anything I need to do in that process to make it happen.  Start off strong with the books and be someone they can count on for sure.  I want to make sure early as possible that they know they made the right decision on me.

PBR:  What were your expectations about the recruiting process?

Clelland:  I never really thought about that.  I just knew that last year I wasn't where I needed to be.  I partially tore my hamstring and missed some time.  I didn't like that at all and I knew I had to start lifting and working everyday on my skill set to separate myself from everyone else on the field.   Not playing in a couple tournaments made me realize how much I loved this game.  I knew if I did that someone would notice.  I figured maybe my sophomore year when I was bigger and stronger it would start but it came a little sooner than that.

PBR: Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player?

Clelland:    My dad of course.  He has been there and done that and I respect what he says.  He signed his NLI with Auburn and took the 1990 pro draft instead to play with Montreal.  He has been my biggest fan and also the one who pushes me the most.  He never quits and has giving me everything that I ever wanted or needed from the beginning.  He drives me 2 hours to Monroeville Pa three days a week and doesn't question it at all.  He was my coach when I first started playing and has always been there when I needed him.  He treats me like every other player and obviously has always been harder on me than anyone.  I know now why he was and I can't thank him enough.

PBR: What were your stats this spring? 

Clelland:  I hit .386 with 10 doubles and a couple triples, 20 RBI's and 15 runs.  I only had about 70 at bats because of my injury so it wasn't a very good year overall.  I was 3-1 on the mound with a couple of no decisions with a 1.86 era.  20k's in 20 innings.  Missed about half the games I should've pitched.

PBR: Who is the toughest hitter that you have faced?

Clelland: I don't know the names but pitching against teams like the Ohio Bombers, Ohio Elite and Team All American before I moved to them is always tough.  They have some studs and you just can’t let up at all.  I'm sure over the next couple years there will be one that stands out among the rest.