Inside the Recruitment: 2017 LHP Garrett Schoenle Commits to Cincinnati

By Phil Wade

Indiana Executive Director

Northrop senior southpaw Garrett Schoenle committed to Cincinnati last month. 

PBR: Why did you choose Cincinnati? What were some key factors in making your decision?

Schoenle: Choosing Cincy just felt like the school for me. After having already visited a few schools before Cincy, I had started to think I knew what school I was interested in so I told my parents during the visit I was just trying to find a way to say no.  Just from the start of the visit, seeing how beautiful the field looked and getting to meet coach Neal right away, I knew something was going to be different. Obviously a big factor in every college decision is money so that was part of the consideration but just feeling like I was at home at Cincy was big for me. It was a big school with a small campus feel and I liked that a lot. Honestly just everything they had to offer there made me feel comfortable and I could see myself there for four years. 

PBR: Where did they first see you compete?

Schoenle: The coaches first saw me compete with my high school team during regional's but coach Lackaff and coach Neal also came to watch me during some of my summer games and even most recently, after making my commitment, they came to watch me at football practice which was really neat. They did a great job the entire process of showing me how interested they were and just trying to make me feel comfortable with them which made the decision easier for me. 

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Schoenle: I was also considering offers from Ball State and IU for a while and late in the process I started to consider Purdue. Right before making my commitment though I had drawn interest from a lot more schools such as Xavier, Miami (OH), and Kentucky.  

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

Schoenle: Honestly I had no idea what to expect in the recruiting process I just knew I wanted to play college baseball. I really had a quick recruiting process with everything happening in about three months. It was definitely stressful and at some points made things hard for me and my family. But, every school I visited I had fun at and the process is fun just had to learn to enjoy all of it in a short period of time.  

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

Schoenle: The biggest thing I told every college coach was that I wanted a chance to be a two way guy. I wasn't going to settle for being a PO and letting the bat leave my hands after high school. Coach Neal made it clear that he thought I have a legit chance to compete for a job in the field as well at Cincinnati. Whether it be at first base or using my speed in the outfield, I know I can help any program not only on the mound but at the plate and in the field as well. Also, with coach Neal the being the pitching coach as well as the head coach, spending time with him in the process was important because I have to feel comfortable with the coach I will be spending a lot of time with in college. Ultimately, Coach Neal is someone I think that will better me to the point of achieving my goal of playing professional baseball.  

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?

Schoenle: The State tournament regional game was definitely the point where my recruiting process not only started but took off and fast. Just after that game, when I got home I had messages from 12 different college programs and one major league scout. I knew at that point I was going to get some opportunities to play at the next level.  

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and become serious about taking your game to the next level?

Schoenle: I've always been serious about playing baseball at a high level. Ever since i started playing baseball my dream has been to make it to the show. But growing up I had always played with older age groups and that definitely helped me improve my game. When I was younger my dad was a High School baseball coach so I've always been around the game and guys that have played at the next level and I guess I've just been eager to become the best. I hate settling for second and I always feel like I have to beat someone out. Not having any offers this last spring I knew I had to do something to stand out and I just worked hard and fortunately had a pretty good season where I got the looks I'd been working for.  

PBR: Who is the best player you've faced in Indiana, and why?

Schoenle: The best player I've faced in Indiana is probably Zach McKinstry. I pitched against him during my freshman season when he was a senior and he definitely got the best of me drawing a walk, hitting a double, and blasting a solo shot off of me that that still gives me the chills it went so far. One of those moments as a pitcher that all you can do is tip your cap and think I'll get him next time. Zach is currently in the minor league system for the LA Dodgers and he is the best hitter I've faced in Indiana so far. 

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

Schoenle: To all the younger baseball players trying to get where I've got, you just have to work hard and never take a drill or a pitch or anything off. There's always ways to get better and there's always someone working as hard as you. Also, play with confidence. Always do everything like a college coach is watching and just play to the potential that you know you can. The biggest thing is you have to believe in yourself and your abilities. The process will run it's course and if you do all these things, good things will happen.  

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

Schoenle: My most memorable moment so far is probably two different games that are tied for best. My freshman year getting my first varsity start against a huge conference rival (Snider) at Parkview Field (Home of the Fort Wayne Tincaps) definitely was an exciting moment and I pitched fairly well ending up with a no decision. Also my junior year I threw no hitter with 16 strikeouts which was pretty cool. Not sure I can pick either of those moments as being better than the other. 

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

Schoenle: I definitely believe we have a strong team coming back next year. We graduate 4 seniors who played key roles this year but we have some younger guys that are ready to fill those spots in. I think a huge advantage we have is that we have depth in the pitching staff. I think we have 4 or 5 guys we can go to next year and feel comfortable that we can get a win. Another big advantage for us is the depth in the lineup. 1 through 9 we have guys that can get on base and work pitchers so there's no easy outs. I think having 8 returning starters will pay dividends for us next season. We definitely expect to win the conference again and win our sectional and go even further than last year but the mentality is to take everything one game at a time and if we do, I see a lot of success for our team.  

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

Schoenle: During the summer I don't play travel ball. I play little league at St. Joe little league. It's a lot of fun with a lot of great ball players in Fort Wayne that don't play travel ball like me. It gets even more fun during all-stars when we get to represent District 10 the big league tournament. we had some success with that team as well winning state but we came up short in regional's at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI. My best moment with them isn't even on the field. Just being with guys I know out in hotels and getting the opportunity to play baseball with them is great. It makes my summers a lot more fun for sure.   

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