Berkeley pitcher Glauser motivated for big senior year

Athletes have different things that serve as the primary motivation for success. Some are motivated by fame and fortune while others may simply be motivated by a personal desire to be the best they can be at whatever they do.

In the case of Berkeley High senior pitcher Joe Glauser, a poor review by an opposing coach to a college coach has pushed the 6-4 left-hander to have a memorable senior season.

As Glauser tells it, a bad early outing during a preseason scrimmage resulted in a coach of the opposing team relaying to a coach at USC-Lancaster that Glauser was not college material. Glauser, already a verbal commitment to the school, was told by the coach what the opposing high school coach had said. That was all the impetus Glauser needed to step his game up to another level this season.

And it worked.

Few pitchers in the state have had as good a season as Glauser has put together entering play this week. Glauser is a perfect 4-0 for the Stags, allowing just nine hits and one earned run in his first 28 innings of work. His efforts include a one-hit shutout of Stratford, a two-hit shutout of Stratford and a two-hit shutout of Beaufort. Glauser has fanned 37 hitters and walked nine for the 12-3 Stags.

“The coach at USC-Lancaster called the coach of the other team and asked how I threw and the coach said I wasn’t very good,” said Glauser. “It really kind of made me angry. I’ve held it with me every day since then and it has really pushed me to work harder and prove I belong.”

Berkeley head coach Landy Cox says Glauser has been a different pitcher this season. Though he gained valuable experience last spring as the team’s number three starter, Cox says he has seen a totally new mindset in 2015.

“He has really stepped up his work ethic and he has worked harder than any player we have,” said Cox. “He is really locked in and motivated. I’m actually surprised that he wasn’t recruited because I think he has tremendous upside. The kid is 6-4, he’s left-handed, and he has a great curveball. His fastball is low 80s but I think he’s still growing. If he can add four or five miles per hour to his fastball over the next two years, with his breaking ball, he’ll be a Division I pitcher somewhere.”

Cox says Glauser’s calm demeanor and respect for the game and for those around him set him apart.

“There’s not a better kid in the world,” the coach said. “I hope my children grow up to act like he does every day. He’s a great teammate, a great student and he’s the type kid you really pull for.”

Glauser feels the biggest difference between his junior and senior seasons is his confidence level. He says he was known in the past as a “nibbler” of the strike zone. Not anymore.

“I’m attacking hitters more instead of picking around the strike zone,” he said. “I get some strikeouts because of my curveball but I don’t think I’m really a strikeout pitcher. I just try to throw strikes and let my teammates play behind me. So far it’s working out great.”

While pleased with his team’s record to date, and with his own personal numbers, Glauser says playing in mid-May is his ultimate goal for this season.

“We take it one game at a time with the number one goal being to win a state championship,” he said. “I just try to go out and give my team a chance to win when it’s my turn to pitch. I have a great team around me and we’re all focusing on the same team goal, not personal goals.”