Marist men’s baseball pitcher Conor McNamara finds excitement in his new role with the team and his past and upcoming experiences with the Irish National Team.
“I have a connection with the Irish team,” said McNamara. “He knew me and brought me in for a quick bullpen and threw on camera for them. They sent it over to the Irish guys and that was it.”
The pitcher found himself a spot in the bullpen on the Irish National Team. They are playing for a qualifying spot in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
The World Baseball Classic is an international tournament that is similar to the World Cup for the world of soccer. It involves 16 teams that are selected through a lengthy qualification process. McNamara has the chance to reach the big stage with his national team and play in one of baseball’s most coveted tournaments. He sees optimism with his national team and hopes to reach the coveted World Baseball Classic with his teammates from Ireland.
“We’re looking to qualify for the World Baseball Classic if we win this next upcoming tournament,” said McNamara. “It’s exciting.”
McNamara saw his role switch this season from starting pitcher to reliever and has since embraced the new role. He is pitching nearly every game rather than starting once every few days. He has garnished in the excitement of the tougher aspects of being thrown into a game.
“So far, it’s been different,” said McNamara. “I enjoy it. I enjoy the high energy and coming in with guys on base in a tight spot.”
McNamara sees more intensity in his new position in the bullpen. The transition from earlier innings to later ones is one that he realizes brings higher significance to his outings.
“It’s more of the high leverage innings,” said the 20-year old. “You’re only out there for a short period of time so you kind of have to make the most of it. You have less room for error. Every pitch is a high-pressure pitch, that’s the biggest thing.”
A change in scenery has been nothing for Conor McNamara. He has a steadily declining 4.74 ERA and has been a key piece to the Marist bullpen throughout the season. McNamara started the season with five shutouts coming out of the bullpen until a rough six run outing against Eastern Carolina University. A dominant 4.2 inning outing against Monmouth on April 6 showed the dominance that McNamara can bring, striking out seven Hawks on Marist’s way to the victory.
Between the two squads, McNamara continues to prove his worth and show his versatility, something that will get you far in the world of baseball. For now, Conor’s focus is with Marist. The Red Foxes are 7-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with hopes to repeat the history of the 2017 team that went on to win the conference.
“We know what we want to do and we’re just taking it one game at a time,” said McNamara. “We think we can do it with the team we have and we’re gonna give every team we face all we’ve got.”