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Fontanez aims for MLB

Senior pitcher Randy Fontanez has made his presence felt on the USF baseball team. Photo credit:

It’s no secret that Randy Fontanez, the right-handed pitcher for the University of South Florida, is one of the team’s most prized players.

With a winning record, a 2.50 ERA and a team-leading 48 strikeouts, Fontanez is certainly a threat when on the mound.  

Fontanez, who started playing baseball at the age of five, was encouraged to be involved in sports by his father, Randy Fontanez Sr.

“My dad asked me what sport I wanted to play,” Fontanez Jr. said. “For some reason, I just picked baseball.”

Though Fontanez is a talented pitcher, he didn’t always plan to play that position. As a child, he wanted to play shortstop like his idol, Omar Vizquel. Growing up, Fontanez was a  Cleveland Indians fan, and Vizquel was a big part of that team.

Fontanez went on to play baseball for Oviedo High School in Oviedo, Fla., as both a pitcher and a shortstop. He then joined the USF Bulls’ baseball team as a freshman during the 2008 season. He has since left his mark as a starting pitcher for the Bulls, being named the 2010 BIG EAST Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Fontanez said it took hard work to go from a 5-year-old boy playing baseball for fun to being a pitcher for an NCAA team.

Balancing all of the traveling, games and practices with the workload that comes with being a college student has been tough, but Fontanez said it is worth it.

“Pitching at USF has been a pleasure and I am lucky to have experienced it,” he said.

As for the future, Fontanez has ambitious goals as well.

“Going into the MLB has always been a life-long dream of mine,” he said.  “I hope I can make that happen someday.”


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