Inside the Recruitment: '17 SS Caleb Balgaard commits to Indiana

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Caleb Balgaard, SS, Howell HS, Class of 2017

PBR: Why did you choose Indiana?

Balgaard: They are a top baseball program in the country. With a highly recommended coaching staff, and they wanted me.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Balgaard: I really liked Michigan State and their coaching staff.

PBR:  Coach Lemonis was a big part of the success of why Louisville went to the College World Series.  How exciting is it to be a part of his era as the head coach?

Balgaard: It’s unreal! Their whole attitude down there blew me away. I loved the World Series talk and their push towards the draft. So aggressive.

PBR:  You are currently a sophomore, how important was it for you to commit so early and are you finished with the recruiting process?

Balgaard: One of the other schools I was interested in had already finished their 2017 recruiting, so it pushed me to work the process this winter during my dive and swim season. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity at Indiana and can’t wait to put on the red and white.

PBR:  Where did Coach Lemonis first see you compete and how did your relationship develop with the rest of the coaching staff?

Balgaard: I started talking to Coach Cheesebrough with the help of Danny Lopaze in January, and 2 weeks later I went to an IU camp. That was the first time Coach Lemonis saw me play. Coach Cheesebrough got updates throughout the winter prior to my meeting with Coach Lemonis on March 17th. I also met with Marcus the academic advisor, Will the athletic trainer, and then spent some time on the field with Shawn Roof the infielding coach. 

PBR: Was the recruiting process what you expected?

Balgaard: It was exactly as I expected.  I had seen my brother Ben go through it 2 years before me. I knew what to expect. All the Coaches along the way made it very enjoyable and easy.

PBR: Who do you play for in the summer and what was your most exciting experience playing summer ball?

Balgaard: I play for Keith Lelli's South Oakland Athletics team. The most exciting experience was beating the Lids Indiana Bulls with their number 1 pitcher on the mound, and tying the Dulins Dodgers on Vanderbilt’s field last summer in Nashville. Great tournament.

PBR: What were your stats last season?

Balgaard: In High School as a Freshman I had a .295avg after starting 0 for 11, coaches Weatherly and Ladd stuck with me. In Summer ball I had a .420avg.

PBR: Who is the toughest pitcher you have faced?

Balgaard: Skylar Szynski from Indiana at the PBR Futures Games.