FORMER PIRATE OUTFIELDER CONVERTS TO PITCHER
Former Ventura County Pirates standout outfielder Cole Kitchen has transitioned to a shutdown pitcher for Division 1 Santa Clara University.
The right-handed sophomore leads the Broncos with five wins and has pitched to the tune of a 3.51 ERA. Kitchen provides length out of the bullpen as his 41 innings pitched is good for third on the team, despite having just two starts.
“You get out there, you perform, and you’ll get more chances,” Kitchen said.
Kitchen played as an outfielder for the Pirates during their 2019 SBL Championship run. He proved his offensive skills that summer, leading the team with a .469 batting average helping him to an 1.101 OPS.
Fresh out of high school at the time, Kitchen stayed off the bump for the Pirates because he had just pitched 70 innings during his senior year at El Camino Charter High School in Woodland Hills. Currently, he is trying to earn his way back into the batters box for Santa Clara. Specifically, he’s working on the positioning of his hands at the start of his swing.
“Lately I’ve been showing off the bat a little more so maybe an opportunity to hit might arise later in the season,” Kitchen said.
Despite his interest in hitting, Kitchen remains committed to contributing in whatever situation he is placed into.
“I just think what can I do at this time to help my team win and that becomes what I’m focused on.” Kitchen said.