Athlete Spotlight: Michael Byerline

Coming back for his final season with the Sonoma State Baseball Team is senior right-handed pitcher Michael Byerline. Last season Byerline had a total of seven wins to his six losses with an overall era of 5.46. Byerline feels as if his numbers did not define him as a player.

 “I felt like I was finally contributing to the success of the team and that was a very accomplishing feeling,” said Byerline.

Byerline picked up a ball and bat at the age of five and his love for America's favorite pastime has never died. Throughout the years his mother has been and always will be his constant support and motivation on and off the field, she has pushed Byerline to make it this far in his baseball career. 

With this being his final season as a Sonoma State Seawolf Byerline says that overall the team is preparing really well for this upcoming season. “Everyone is putting in extra work either after practice or on their own.” 

Byerline also says that the team this year has great chemistry compared to teams in the past. “Everyone gets along with everyone and I finally feel like we have a team that is pulling in the same direction.” 

Byerline went on further to state, “I feel like my collegiate baseball career has been very typical of someone who did not go to a JC. I started off with only six innings my freshman year and then 19 my sophomore year to 59 my junior year. I even moved to a starting role on the team.”

As for his personal feelings about this being his last year Byerline is mainly shocked at how fast time flew by. “It is hard to believe that this is possibly my last season of competitive baseball.” However, he is optimistic about his future with any direction it may go. 

“There’s a lot I am going to miss about this program. The players, coaches, athletic training staff, and the opportunities I’ve had with being here. I’ve met a lot of great people who have really helped me improve not only my game but for me as a person.” 

Aside from the team his main focus for himself would be starting off the game strong. “I tend to give up the majority of my hits and runs in the first inning before I settle down and start cursing for the rest of my outing,” said Byerline. “That just comes with being mentally and physically prepared before the game even starts, and being properly warmed up.” 

Finishing up this year it is in every baseball athlete to have the dream of being drafted in the Major League Baseball draft. Byerline is already a draft prospect for some American League Teams. With a constant speed ranging between 87 and 88 miles per hour and hitting the 90’s every once in a while. He is a draft prospect, however, if that does not work out he hopes to continue with schooling and get his masters through the University of San Diego in nano-engineering. 

Byerlines teammates admire him on and off the field. 

Kyle Stevenson stated, “I’ve known Byerline for three years and I met him when I was a freshman, and coming onto a team as a freshman isn't easy and Byerline knew that because he was a freshman the year before. He was always nice and helpful sharing the do’s and don’ts and giving me advice, which for me at the time was huge. And now, he's a four-year senior, he's one of the leaders of the team and takes care of and supports his teammate on and off the field.”